Institute for Pig Genetics

AA, Netherlands

Institute for Pig Genetics

AA, Netherlands
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Canario L.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Canario L.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Turner S.P.,Scottish Agricultural College | Roehe R.,Scottish Agricultural College | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2012

This study examined the behavioral consequences of selecting pigs using a social genetic model for growth. Calculations enable each member of a group of pigs to be given a direct breeding value (DBV) and a social breeding value (SBV), which can be summarized into a total breeding value (TBV) for growth. Selection for growth TBV could affect animal behavior because social effects account for within-group interactions. Data were recorded from 96 groups of Yorkshire and Yorkshire × Landrace pigs in a nucleus herd. Each group contained 15 pigs fed ad libitum from 2 feeders; the space allowance was 0.85 m2/pig. Average daily gain was quantified from 35 to 100 kg of BW. Fighting and bullying activity at mixing (period 1), lying frequency 3 wk after mixing (period 2), and counts of skin lesions in periods 1 and 2 were recorded. The DBV for these traits were estimated with a classic animal model. We simulated different correlations between the direct genetic effect and the social genetic effect on growth rate (rDS), 2 components that respectively determine a pig's genetic capacity to grow and its genetic influence on growth of group mates: rDS was successively assumed to be 0 and ±0.12, ±0.20, ±0.29, and ±0.58. Finally, the correlations between DBV, SBV, and TBV for ADG, as well as the DBV for behavior and skin lesions, were calculated and tested for a level of significance at P < 0.05. The gradient from negative to positive values of rDS refers to a progressive path running from genetic antagonism to genetic mutualism for growth. If rDS in the population truly ranged between -0.58 and -0.20, correlations for TBV for ADG with DBV for fighting and bullying progressively increased with rDS. Consequently, if rDS was low (between -0.12 and +0.12) or positive (>+0.12), pigs with high TBV for ADG had higher DBV for bullying other pigs in the group and for fighting than pigs with lower TBV for ADG. Pigs with high TBV for ADG did not differ from other pigs in their DBV for lesions to the anterior part of the body, but they had a lower DBV for posterior lesions, whereas in period 2, they had higher DBV for posterior lesions and lower DBV for lying. Under genetic mutualism for growth and in housing conditions similar to those in the present study, selection for growth TBV would promote the rapid establishment of the dominance relationships, with more aggressive contests among group mates at mixing. Pigs would subsequently be more active but, judging by skin lesions, less willing to fight in a more stable social situation. © 2012 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.

Archibald A.L.,Roslin Institute | Bolund L.,BGI Shenzhen | Bolund L.,University of Aarhus | Churcher C.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | And 11 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2010

Background: The pig genome is being sequenced and characterised under the auspices of the Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium. The sequencing strategy followed a hybrid approach combining hierarchical shotgun sequencing of BAC clones and whole genome shotgun sequencing.Results: Assemblies of the BAC clone derived genome sequence have been annotated using the Pre-Ensembl and Ensembl automated pipelines and made accessible through the Pre-Ensembl/Ensembl browsers. The current annotated genome assembly (Sscrofa9) was released with Ensembl 56 in September 2009. A revised assembly (Sscrofa10) is under construction and will incorporate whole genome shotgun sequence (WGS) data providing > 30× genome coverage. The WGS sequence, most of which comprise short Illumina/Solexa reads, were generated from DNA from the same single Duroc sow as the source of the BAC library from which clones were preferentially selected for sequencing. In accordance with the Bermuda and Fort Lauderdale agreements and the more recent Toronto Statement the data have been released into public sequence repositories (Genbank/EMBL, NCBI/Ensembl trace repositories) in a timely manner and in advance of publication.Conclusions: In this marker paper, the Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium (SGSC) sets outs its plans for analysis of the pig genome sequence, for the application and publication of the results. © 2010 Archibald et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Hoving L.L.,Wageningen University | Soede N.M.,Wageningen University | van der Peet-Schwering C.M.C.,Wageningen University | Graat E.A.M.,Wageningen University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2011

This study evaluated the effect of feeding level and protein content in feed in first- and secondparity sows during the first month of gestation on sow BW recovery, farrowing rate, and litter size during the first month of gestation. From d 3 to 32 after the first insemination, sows were fed either 2.5 kg/d of a standard gestation diet (control, n = 49), 3.25 kg/d (+30%) of a standard gestation diet (plus feed, n = 47), or 2.5 kg/d of a gestation diet with 30% greater ileal digestible AA (plus protein, n = 49). Feed intake during the experimental period was 29% greater for sows in the plus feed group compared with those in the control and plus protein groups (93 vs. 72 kg, P < 0.05). Sows in the plus feed group gained 10 kg more BW during the experimental period compared with those in the control and plus protein groups (24.2 ± 1.2 vs. 15.5 ± 1.2 and 16.9 ± 1.2 kg, respectively, P < 0.001). Backfat gain and loin muscle depth gain were not affected by treatment (P = 0.56 and P = 0.37, respectively). Farrowing rate was smaller, although not significantly, for sows in the plus feed group compared with those in the control and plus protein groups (76.6% vs. 89.8 and 89.8%, respectively, P = 0.16). Litter size, however, was larger for sows in the plus feed group (15.2 ± 0.5 total born) compared with those in the control and plus protein groups (13.2 ± 0.4 and 13.6 ± 0.4 total born, respectively, P = 0.006). Piglet birth weight was not different among treatments (P = 0.65). For both first- and second- parity sows, the plus feed treatment showed similar effects on BW gain, farrowing rate, and litter size. In conclusion, an increased feed intake (+30%) during the first month of gestation improved sow BW recovery and increased litter size, but did not significantly affect farrowing rate in the subsequent parity. Feeding a 30% greater level of ileal digestible AA during the same period did not improve sow recovery or reproductive performance in the subsequent parity. © 2011 American Society of Animal Science.

Hoving L.L.,Wageningen University | Soede N.M.,Wageningen University | Feitsma H.,Institute for Pig Genetics | Kemp B.,Wageningen University
Theriogenology | Year: 2012

This study describes reproductive and metabolic responses in sows fed at two different feeding levels from day 3-35 of second gestation. After insemination, 37 sows were assigned to one of two treatments: 1) Control: 2.5 kg/day of a gestation diet; 2) Plus Feed 3.25 kg/day of a gestation diet (+30%). Sow weight, back fat and loin muscle depth were measured at farrowing, weaning, start of treatment, day 14 after start treatment and end of treatment. Frequent blood samples were taken for progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), glucose and insulin, insulin-like-growth-factor-1 (IGF-1), non-esterified-fatty-acids (NEFA) and urea analysis. At day 35 after insemination sows were euthanized and their reproductive tract collected to assess ovarian, embryonic and placental characteristics. Plus Feed sows gained 5.4 kg more weight and 0.9 mm more back fat and tended to be heavier at slaughter compared to Control sows (193 vs. 182 kg, P = 0.06). No difference in loin muscle gain was found. Treatment also did not affect vital embryonic survival, which was 72.1 ± 3.9% for Control and 73.4 ± 3.2% for Plus Feed sows, resulting in, respectively, 15.9 ± 0.9 and 15.7 ± 0.7 vital embryos. No effect of treatment on any of the ovarian, embryonic or placental characteristics was found. Progesterone profiles during the first month of gestation, and LH characteristics at day 14 of gestation were not different between treatments. Progesterone concentration was lower (P < 0.05) 3 h after feeding compared with the prefeeding level on days 7-11 after first progesterone rise for Plus Feed and on days 8-10 after first progesterone rise for Control sows. At day 15, preprandial glucose and insulin concentrations were not different between treatments, insulin peaked later (48 vs. 24 min) and at a higher concentration in Plus Feed than in Control sows. Furthermore, glucose area under the curve (AUC) tended to be lower (-171.7 ± 448.8 vs. 1257.1 ± 578.9 mg/6.2 h, P = 0.06, respectively) for Plus Feed vs. Control sows. IGF-1 concentration was not different between treatments, but NEFA concentrations were lower for Plus Feed vs. Control sows (149.5 ± 9.2 vs. 182.4 ± 11.9 μm/L, respectively, P = 0.04) and urea concentration tended to be higher in Plus Feed than in Control sows (4.3 ± 0.1 vs. 3.9 ± 0.1, respectively, P = 0.13). None of the metabolic parameteres were related to reproductive measures. In conclusion, feeding 30% more feed from day 3 till d 35 of second gestation increased weight gain and resulted in lower NEFA concentrations, but did not affect progesterone, LH or IGF-1 and embryonic and placental characteristics. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Hoving L.L.,Wageningen University | Soede N.M.,Wageningen University | Feitsma H.,Institute for Pig Genetics | Kemp B.,Wageningen University
Reproduction in Domestic Animals | Year: 2012

Contents: Our objective was to study reproductive consequences of lactation bodyweight loss occurring in primiparous sows with mild feed restriction and to relate these lactation weight losses and its consequences to metabolic profiles during lactation and subsequent early gestation. After weaning, 47 first-litter sows were retrospectively assigned to a high- (HWL, >13.8%, n=24) or low (LWL, ≤13.8%, n=23)-weight loss group. Thirty-six animals received an indwelling jugular vein catheter to determine lactational and gestational profiles of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and urea and gestational profiles of progesterone. At day 35 after insemination, sows were euthanized and their reproductive tract collected. Pregnancy rate was 75% (18/24) for HWL and 96% (22/23) for LWL sows. High-weight loss sows had a lower number of implantation sites (17.2±0.8 vs 19.5±0.7, respectively, p=0.03) and a lower embryonic survival (65.6±3.4 vs 77.4±2.9%, p=0.02), resulting in fewer vital embryos (14.9±0.9 vs 16.8±0.7, p=0.07) than LWL sows. Progesterone peak values were reached later in HWL than in LWL sows (day 13.4±0.5 vs 12.0±0.5, respectively, p=0.05). Gestational concentrations of IGF-1, NEFA and urea were almost identical for HWL and LWL sows, whilst numerical differences were seen during lactation. The current study shows negative consequences of lactational weight loss in mildly feed-restricted primiparous sows for embryonic survival and shows that these consequences seem only mildly related with metabolic alterations during lactation and not with metabolic alterations during subsequent gestation. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Rodenburg T.B.,Wageningen University | Bijma P.,Wageningen University | Ellen E.D.,Wageningen University | Bergsma R.,Wageningen University | And 5 more authors.
Animal Welfare | Year: 2010

Social interactions between individuals, such as co-operation and competition, are key factors in evolution by natural selection. As a consequence, evolutionary biologists have developed extensive theories to understand the consequences of social interactions for response to natural selection. Current genetic improvement programmes in animal husbandry, in contrast, largely ignore the implications of social interactions for the design of breeding programmes. Recently, we have developed theoretical and empirical tools to quantify the magnitude of heritable social effects, ie the heritable effects that animals have on their group mates' traits, in livestock populations, and to utilise those effects in genetic improvement programmes. Results in commercial populations of pigs and laying hens indicate large heritable social effects, and the potential to substantially increase responses to selection in traits affected by social interactions. In pigs, including social effects into the breeding programme affected aggressive behaviour, both at mixing and in stable groups, indicating changes in the way dominance relationships are established and in aggressiveness. In laying hens, we applied selection between kin-groups to reduce mortality due to cannibalistic pecking. This resulted in a considerable difference in mortality between the low mortality line and the unselected control line in the first generation (20 vs 30%). Furthermore, changes in behavioural and neurobiological responses to stress were detected in the low mortality line, pointing to reduced fearfulness and stress sensitivity. These first results indicate that including social effects into breeding programmes is a promising way to reduce negative social interactions in farm animals, and possibly to also increase positive social interactions, by breeding animals with better social skills. © 2010 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare The Old School.

Bouwman A.C.,Wageningen University | Bergsma R.,Wageningen University | Bergsma R.,Institute for Pig Genetics | Duijvesteijn N.,Institute for Pig Genetics | Bijma P.,Wageningen University
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2010

The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is heritable social variation in ADG from birth until weaning in piglets. Nursing and the establishment of teat order are sources of social interaction among suckling piglets nursed by the same sow. If a heritable social effect is present, but ignored, the selected animals might be the most competitive ones with negative effects on growth of their group mates, resulting in less response to selection than expected. The social interaction model was extended with a maternal component to estimate genetic maternal and social effects. Four different animal models were compared: a basic model with a direct heritable effect only; a social model accounting for direct and social heritable effects; a maternal model with a heritable maternal effect in addition to the basic model; and a social-maternal model accounting for direct, social, and maternal heritable effects. Estimates of direct, maternal, and social heritability were 0.07, 0.06, and around 0.0007 (not significantly different from zero, SE = 0.0005), respectively. Total heritable variance, including direct, social, and maternal heritable variance and their covariances ranged from 0.07 to 0.15 of the phenotypic variation. Both maternal models were significantly better than equivalent nonmaternal models (P < 0.005). The social model was not significantly better than the basic model (P = 0.102), and the social-maternal model was also not significantly better than the maternal model (P = 0.486). There was no evidence for heritable social effects among piglets in a group. The generally used maternal model fit the data as well as the social-maternal model. Sufficient cross-fostering is needed to partition social and maternal variation. © 2010 American Society of Animal Science.

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