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Long term selection for 4 week body weight in japanese quail under different nutritional environments



Long term selection for 4 week body weight in japanese quail under different nutritional environments



Theoretical and Applied Genetics 52(3): 105-112



Individual phenotypic selection for high 4 wk body weight was conducted for 40 generations in 2 lines of Japanese quail under 2 protein environments. Line P was selected on an adequate 28% protein diet, and line T was selected on a 20% protein diet containing 0.2% thiouracil (TU). In generation 20, a subline R was established by subjecting progeny from the T line to a 20% protein diet; in generation 27, a subline S was developed by subjecting progeny from the T line to a 28% protein diet containing 0.2% TU. Progeny from a nonselected control line (C) were reared with selected lines and sublines in all generations. Quail in the P line continued to respond to selection for 40 generations; body weights increased from 90 to approximately 200 g. Mean body weights of T line quail peaked in generation 22 and did not appear to show any definite gains thereafter. Body weight responses of sublines R and S were greater than those in the T line and indicate that changing the selection environment following long-term selection may be an effective technique to maximize total selection responses for 4 wk body weight in quail. Realized heritability estimates for 4 wk body weight were larger in the P line than in the T line in all comparisons. Realized estimates were high (30-45%) for the 10 generations 1-10; moderate (15-20%) for generations 11-30, and small (5-10%) for generations 31-40.

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