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Kongsro J.,Norsvin | Grindflek E.,Norsvin
Journal of Orthopaedic Research | Year: 2014

The purpose of the current study was to validate the use of CT for selection against osteochondrosis in pigs by calculating positive predictive value and comparing it to the positive predictive value of macroscopic evaluation, using histological examination as the reference standard. Eighteen male, hereditarily osteochondrosis-predisposed piglets underwent terminal examination at biweekly intervals from the ages of 82-180 days old, including CT scanning, macroscopic, and histological evaluation of the left distal femur. Areas of ischemic chondronecrosis (osteochondrosis) were confirmed in histological sections from 44/56 macroscopically suspected lesions, resulting in a positive predictive value of 79% (95% CI: 67-84%). Suspected lesions, that is; focal, radiolucent defects in the ossification front in CT scans corresponded to areas of ischemic chondronecrosis in 36/36 histologically examined lesions, resulting in a positive predictive value of 100% (95% CI: 90-100%). CT was superior to macroscopic evaluation for diagnosis of early stages of osteochondrosis in the distal femur of piglets. The current histologically validated observations can potentially be extrapolated to diagnostic monitoring of juvenile osteochondritis dissecans in children, or to animal models of human juvenile articular cartilage injury and repair. © 2014 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Thingnes S.L.,Norsvin | Ekker A.S.,Felleskjopet FOrutvikling BA | Gaustad A.H.,Norsvin
Livestock Science | Year: 2012

The aim of this study was to compare the effect of ad libitum feeding versus a step-up feeding strategy during late lactation on sows' feed consumption, body composition and production performance. This on-farm study was conducted on 155 loose housed Norwegian Landrace×Swedish Yorkshire sows and their litters, originating from three batches of farrowing. The lactation feed contained 9.86. MJ. NE/kg feed and 8.26. g. lysine/kg feed and daily feed allowance was recorded. Measurements of sow body weight, body condition score, litter size and litter weight were taken within 24. h after birth and at weaning. Body weight, litter size and litter weight were also recorded on day 21 for sows farrowing in batches 2 and 3. Sows in batches 1 and 2 were backfat measured prefarrowing and at weaning. The study design was a randomized block design with 1st parity, 2nd parity and ≥3rd parity as blocks. Within block sows were randomly allotted to feeding strategy. "Feed refusal" was defined as a drop in feed intake of >3. kg for ≥3 days. Feeding strategy did not affect daily or total feed consumption, weight loss, backfat loss or litter gain. The ad libitum group had a lower feed consumption in week four of lactation (p<0.05) and more feed refusals (p<0.01). The relative backfat loss (%) tended to be higher in the ad libitum group (p<0.1), and backfat loss in the loin was higher in older sows (≥3rd parity) in this group (p<0.05). Parity affected daily, weekly and total feed consumption, with 1st and 2nd parity sows consuming less than older sows (p<0.0001). First parity sows had more feed refusals (p<0.01), higher weight loss (p<0.05) and lower litter gain (p<0.001) than older sows. The relative weight loss (%) was higher in 1st and 2nd parity sows compared to older sows (p<0.05). Positive correlations were found between total feed consumption and litter gain (r=0.45, p<0.0001), body condition and weight loss (r=0.46, p<0.0001), backfat before parturition and total backfat loss (r=0.67, p<0.0001) and body condition and backfat (r=0.55, p<0.0001). A negative correlation was found between total feed consumption and weight loss during the three first weeks of lactation. (r=-0.66, p<0.0001). Parity affects feed consumption, body composition and production, and caution should be taken not to overexert young sows during lactation. A higher risk of feed refusal and more individual variation in the ad libitum group favours the step-up strategy. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Aasmundstad T.,Norsvin | Aasmundstad T.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Kongsro J.,Norsvin | Wetten M.,Norsvin | Vangen O.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Animal | Year: 2013

The aim of this study was to develop a method for scoring osteochondrosis (OC) by using information from computed tomography (CT), as well as to estimate the heritability for OC scored by means of CT (OCwCT) of the medial and lateral condyles at the distal end of the humerus or the femur of the right and left leg and the sum of these scores (OCT). In addition, we were aiming at revealing the genetic relationship between OCwCT traits and growth in different periods (days from birth to 30 kg (D30), days from 30 to 50 kg (D30-50), days from 50 to 70 kg (D50-70), days from 70 to 90 kg (D70-90), days from 90 to 100 kg (D90-100) and days from birth to 100 kg (D100)). The OCwCT was assessed for 1449 boars, and growth data were collected for these 1449 boars and additional 3779 boars tested in the same time period. All boars were tested as part of the Norsvin Landrace boar test and in the same test station. Heritabilities for OCwCT on anatomical locations varied from 0.21 (s.e. = 0.08) on the medial condyle of the right humerus to 0.06 (s.e. = 0.06) on the lateral condyle of the left femur, whereas OCT exhibited the highest heritability (h 2 = 0.31, s.e. = 0.09). Genetic correlations between OCT and OCwCT for the anatomical locations ranged from 0.94 (s.e. = 0.07) for OCT and OCwCT score for the medial condyle of the humerus right side to 0.26 (s.e. = 0.39) for OCT and the lateral condyle of the femur left side. Genetic correlations between D30 and OCT were medium high and unfavourable (r g = -0.74). As the boar gain weight, the relationship between growth rate - expressed as number of days spent growing from one interval to the next - and OCT decreased to 0.12 (s.e. = 0.19, i.e. not significantly different from zero) for the trait D90-100 kg. These changes of genetic correlation coefficients coincide with the maturing of the joint cartilage and skeletal structures. In this study, we demonstrate that CT could be used for selection against OC in breeding programmes in pigs and that the genetic correlations between growth periods and OC are decreasing over time. Copyright © The Animal Consortium 2013.


Gjerlaug-Enger E.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Kongsro J.,Norsvin | Odegard J.,432 As | Aass L.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Vangen O.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Animal | Year: 2012

In this study, computed tomography (CT) technology was used to measure body composition on live pigs for breeding purposes. Norwegian Landrace (L; n = 3835) and Duroc (D; n = 3139) boars, selection candidates to be elite boars in a breeding programme, were CT-scanned between August 2008 and August 2010 as part of an ongoing testing programme at Norsvin's boar test station. Genetic parameters in the growth rate of muscle (MG), carcass fat (FG), bone (BG) and non-carcass tissue (NCG), from birth to ∼100 kg live weight, were calculated from CT data. Genetic correlations between growth of different body tissues scanned using CT, lean meat percentage (LMP) calculated from CT and more traditional production traits such as the average daily gain (ADG) from birth to 25 kg (ADG1), the ADG from 25 kg to 100 kg (ADG2) and the feed conversion ratio (FCR) from 25 kg to 100 kg were also estimated from data on the same boars. Genetic parameters were estimated based on multi-trait animal models using the average information-restricted maximum likelihood (AI-REML) methodology. The heritability estimates (s.e. = 0.04 to 0.05) for the various traits for Landrace and Duroc were as follows: MG (0.19 and 0.43), FG (0.53 and 0.59), BG (0.37 and 0.58), NCG (0.38 and 0.50), LMP (0.50 and 0.57), ADG1 (0.25 and 0.48), ADG2 (0.41 and 0.42) and FCR (0.29 and 0.42). Genetic correlations for MG with LMP were 0.55 and 0.68, and genetic correlations between MG and ADG2 were -0.06 and 0.07 for Landrace and Duroc, respectively. LMP and ADG2 were clearly unfavourably genetically correlated (L: -0.75 and D: -0.54). These results showed the difficulty in jointly improving LMP and ADG2. ADG2 was unfavourably correlated with FG (L: 0.84 and D: 0.72), thus indicating to a large extent that selection for increased growth implies selection for fatness under an ad libitum feeding regime. Selection for MG is not expected to increase ADG2, but will yield faster growth of the desired tissues and a better carcass quality. Hence, we consider MG to be a better biological trait in selection for improved productivity and carcass quality. CT is a powerful instrument in conjunction with breeding, as it combines the high accuracy of CT data with measurements taken from the selection candidates. CT also allows the selection of new traits such as real body composition, and in particular, the actual MG on living animals. © Copyright The Animal Consortium 2011.


Wetten M.,Norsvin | Odegard J.,NOFIMA MARIN | Odegard J.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Vangen O.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Meuwissen Th.H.E.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Animal | Year: 2012

In this study, random regression models were used to estimate covariance functions between feed intake and BW in boars from the two breeds: the Norwegian Landrace and the Norwegian Duroc. In total, 1476 animals of the Norwegian Landrace breed and 1300 animals of the Norwegian Duroc breed had registrations on daily feed intake and growth from 54 to 180 days of age. Random regressions on the Legendre polynomials of age were used to describe genetic and permanent environmental curves in BW (up to the second order) and feed intake (up to the first order) for both the breeds. Heritabilities on BW increased over time for the Landrace (0.18 to 0.24), but were approximately constant for the Duroc (0.33 to 0.35). Average heritabilities for feed intake were approximately the same in both the breeds (0.09 to 0.11), and the estimates decreased over time, most pronounced in Duroc. On the basis of the current data, daily feed intake was seemingly controlled by the same genetic factors throughout the test period for Duroc; however, for Landrace, genetic correlations between test days decreased with increasing distance in time. For BW, the genetic correlations between test days were in general high, and did not go below 0.8 for any of the two breeds in this study. For both feed intake and BW, permanent environmental correlations between start and end of the test were reduced with increasing difference in days, most pronounced in Duroc. This study indicates that weight of the animal at the end of the test was more closely genetically correlated to feed intake of earlier periods compared with later periods of growth for both the breeds. This may be explained by the fact that BW is the cumulative growth of an individual, which is likely to be heavily affected by the feed intake during the most intense growth period. © Copyright The Animal Consortium 2011.


Meuwissen T.H.E.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Odegard J.,Aqua Gen AS | Andersen-Ranberg I.,NORSVIN | Grindflek E.,NORSVIN
Genetics Selection Evolution | Year: 2014

Background: With the advent of genomic selection, alternative relationship matrices are used in animal breeding, which vary in their coverage of distant relationships due to old common ancestors. Relationships based on pedigree (A) and linkage analysis (GLA) cover only recent relationships because of the limited depth of the known pedigree. Relationships based on identity-by-state (G) include relationships up to the age of the SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) mutations. We hypothesised that the latter relationships were too old, since QTL (quantitative trait locus) mutations for traits under selection were probably more recent than the SNPs on a chip, which are typically selected for high minor allele frequency. In addition, A and GLA relationships are too recent to cover genetic differences accurately. Thus, we devised a relationship matrix that considered intermediate-aged relationships and compared all these relationship matrices for their accuracy of genomic prediction in a pig breeding situation. Methods: Haplotypes were constructed and used to build a haplotype-based relationship matrix (GH), which considers more intermediate-aged relationships, since haplotypes recombine more quickly than SNPs mutate. Dense genotypes (38 453 SNPs) on 3250 elite breeding pigs were combined with phenotypes for growth rate (2668 records), lean meat percentage (2618), weight at three weeks of age (7387) and number of teats (5851) to estimate breeding values for all animals in the pedigree (8187 animals) using the aforementioned relationship matrices. Phenotypes on the youngest 424 to 486 animals were masked and predicted in order to assess the accuracy of the alternative genomic predictions. Results: Correlations between the relationships and regressions of older on younger relationships revealed that the age of the relationships increased in the order A, GLA, GH and G. Use of genomic relationship matrices yielded significantly higher prediction accuracies than A. GH and G, differed not significantly, but were significantly more accurate than GLA. Conclusions: Our hypothesis that intermediate-aged relationships yield more accurate genomic predictions than G was confirmed for two of four traits, but these results were not statistically significant. Use of estimated genotype probabilities for ungenotyped animals proved to be an efficient method to include the phenotypes of ungenotyped animals. © 2014 Meuwissen et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Aasmundstad T.,Norsvin | Aasmundstad T.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Gjerlaug-Enger E.,Norsvin | Grindflek E.,Norsvin | Vangen O.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Animal | Year: 2014

The objective of our study was to investigate the heritabilities and genetic correlations between traits from a linear exterior assessment system and osteochondrosis (OC) measured by computed tomography (CT), and in addition, to study the genetic trend in a population where the conformation traits have been included in the breeding goal. The data material consisted of phenotypes from a total of 4571 Norsvin Landrace test boars. At the end of the test period, all boars were subjected to a detailed exterior assessment system. Within 10 days of the assessment, the boars were CT scanned for measuring OC. The total score of osteochondrosis (OCT), used in this study, is the sum of phenotypes from the assessment on the medial and lateral condyles at the distal end of both the humerus and the femur of the right and the left leg of the boar based on images from CT. The exterior assessment traits included in the study were; 'front leg knee' (FKNE), 'front leg pasterns' (FPAS), 'front leg stance' (FSTA), 'front leg twisted pasterns' (FFLK), 'hind leg stance', 'hind leg pasterns' (HPAS), 'hind leg standing under' (HSTU), 'hind leg small inner toe', 'dipped back', 'arched back' (ARCH) and 'waddling hindquarters' (WADL). The estimation of (co)variance components and breeding values were performed using bivariate animal genetic models. Breeding values for HSTU, HPAS, FPAS, WADL and OCT traits were additional outputs from the same bivariate analyses. The lowest heritability was found for FFLK (h 2 FFLK=0.05), whereas FPAS was estimated to have the highest heritability (h 2 FPAS=0.36), and OCT demonstrating a heritability of 0.29. Significant genetic correlations were found between several traits; the strongest correlation was between FSTA and FFLK (0.94), which was followed by the correlation between FPAS and FKNE (0.69). The traits ARCH and FSTA had significant genetic correlations to OCT, whereas all other genetic correlations between OCT and the conformation traits were low and not significantly different from 0. Our study shows positive genetic trends for the conformation traits included in the breeding goal. In general, low genetic correlations between conformation traits and OC were observed in our study. © 2014 The Animal Consortium.


Gjerlaug-Enger E.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Kongsro J.,Norsvin | Aass L.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Odegard J.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | And 2 more authors.
Animal | Year: 2011

This study was conducted to evaluate the potential of near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy (NIRS) technology for prediction of the chemical composition (moisture content and fatty acid composition) of fat from fast-growing, lean slaughter pig samples coming from breeding programmes. NIRS method I: a total of 77 samples of intact subcutaneous fat from pigs were analysed with the FOSS FoodScan NIR spectrophotometer (850 to 1050 nm) and then used to predict the moisture content by using partial least squares (PLS) regression methods. The best equation obtained has a coefficient of determination for cross-validation (CV; Rcv 2) and a root mean square error of a CV (RMSECV) of 0.88 and 1.18%, respectively. The equation was further validated with(n=15) providing values of 0.83 and 0.42% for the coefficient of determination for validation (Rval 2) and root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP), respectively. NIRS method II: in this case, samples of melted subcutaneous fat were analysed in an FOSS XDS NIR rapid content analyser (400 to 2500 nm). Equations based on modified PLS regression methods showed that NIRS technology could predict the fatty acid groups, the main fatty acids and the iodine value accurately with Rcv 2, RMSECV, R val 2 and RMSEP of 0.98, 0.38%, 0.95 and 0.49%, respectively (saturated fatty acids), 0.94, 0.45%, 0.97 and 0.65%, respectively (monounsaturated fatty acids), 0.97, 0.28%, 0.99 and 0.34%, respectively (polyunsaturated fatty acids), 0.76, 0.61%, 0.84 and 0.87%, respectively (palmitic acid, C16:0), 0.75, 0.16%, 0.89 and 0.10%, respectively (palmitoleic acid, C16:1n-7), 0.93, 0.41%, 0.96 and 0.64%, respectively (steric acid, C18:0), 0.90, 0.51%, 0.94 and 0.44%, respectively (oleic acid, C18:1n-9), 0.97, 0.25%, 0.98 and 0.29% (linoleic acid, C18:2n-6), 0.68, 0.09%, 0.57 and 0.16% (α-linolenic acid, C18:3n-3) and 0.97, 0.57, 0.97 and 1.22, respectively (iodine value, calculated). The magnitude of this error showed quite good accuracy using these rapid methods in prediction of the moisture and fatty acid composition of fat from pigs involved in breeding schemes. © 2011 The Animal Consortium.


Gjerlaug-Enger E.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Aass L.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Odegard J.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Odegard J.,432 As | And 2 more authors.
Animal | Year: 2011

Subcutaneous fat from Norwegian Landrace (n = 3230) and Duroc (n = 1769) pigs was sampled to investigate the sources of variation and genetic parameters of various fatty acids, fat moisture percentage and fat colour, with the lean meat percentage (LMP) also included as a trait representing the leanness of the pig. The pigs were from half-sib groups of station-tested boars included in the Norwegian pig breeding scheme. They were fed ad libitum to obtain an average of 113 kg live weight. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was applied for prediction of the fatty acids and fat moisture percentage, and Minolta was used for the fat colour measurements. Heritabilities and genetic correlations were estimated with a multi-trait animal model using average information-restricted maximum likelihood (AI-REML) methodology. Fat from Landrace pigs had considerably more monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and fat moisture, as well as less saturated fatty acids (SFAs) than fat from Duroc pigs. The heritability estimates (s.e. 0.03 to 0.08) for the various fatty acids were as follows: Palmitic, C16:0 (0.39 and 0.51 for Landrace and Duroc pigs, respectively); Palmitoleic, C16:1n-7 (0.41 and 0.50); Steric, C18:0 (0.46 and 0.54); Oleic, C18:1n-9 (0.67 and 0.57); Linoleic, C18:2n-6 (0.44 and 0.46); α-linolenic, C18:3n-3 (0.37 and 0.25) and n-6/n-3 ratio (0.06 and 0.01). The other fat quality traits revealed the following heritabilities: fat moisture (0.28 and 0.33), colour values in subcutaneous fat: L* (whiteness; 0.22 and 0.21), a* (redness; 0.13 and 0.24) and b* (yellowness; 0.07 and 0.17) and LMP (0.46 and 0.47). LMP showed high positive genetic correlations to PUFA (C18:2n-6 and C18:3n-3), which implies that selecting leaner pigs changes the fatty acid composition and deteriorates the quality of fat. Higher concentrations of PUFA are not beneficial as the ratio of n-6 and n-3 fatty acids becomes unfavourably high. Owing to the high genetic correlation between C18:2n-6 and C18:3n-3 and a low heritability for this ratio, the latter is difficult to change through selection. However, a small reduction in the ratio should be expected if selection aims at reducing the level of C18:2n-6. Selection for more C18:1n-9 is possible in view of the genetic parameters, which are favourable for eating quality, technological quality and human nutrition. The NIRS technology and the high heritabilities found in this study make it possible to implement fat quality traits to achieve the breeding goal in the selection of a lean pig with better fat quality. © 2011 The Animal Consortium.


Kongsro J.,Norsvin
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture | Year: 2014

The weight or mass of a pig is of great importance for farmers and stockmen to monitor performance, health and market weight of animals. The paper presents a prototype for pig weighing based on the Microsoft Kinect camera technology, utilizing the infrared depth map images. The system successfully estimated the weight of two different purebred breeds, landrace and duroc with an error estimate of 4-5% of mean weight. The depth map images require less calibration, are less prone to background (i.e. floor) noise compared to visible light camera systems and seem to be more robust between breeds due to additional information from height (depth map) of animals. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

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