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Genetic architecture of growth curve parameters in chickens

Genetic architecture of growth curve parameters in chickens

Tag. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik 83(1): 24-32

Genetic improvement in growth of poultry has traditionally proceeded via selection for body weight at a fixed age. Due to increased maintenance costs and reproductive problems of adult broiler breeders, the potential for genetic manipulation of the growth curve has been receiving increased interest. Research of both male and female progeny of a three-way diallel cross was used to investigate the inheritance of growth curve parameters. The Laird form of the Gompertz equation was used to determine growth curve parameters, and was suited to the juvenile growth data frequently collected from meat-type chickens. Growth rate exhibited significant heterosis due to both autosomes and the sex chromosomes. Age at inflection point also exhibited significant average heterosis, though only among females. Growth rate was also influenced by average line effects, as was age at inflection point. Maternal effects had no influence on growth curve parameters, while additive sex linkage was observed for growth rate. Phenotypic and genetic correlations were calculated among the growth curve parameters and suggest that specific breeding programs could alter the growth trajectory of the contemporary broiler chicken. Moderate heritabilities were observed for the growth curve parameters and support the hypothesis that the growth curve could be altered via genetic manipulation of early postnatal growth, especially during the first 14 days post-hatch.

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Accession: 002117226

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 24202253

DOI: 10.1007/BF00229222

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