Pannon breeding program in rabbit at Kaposvár University

ZS. Matics, I. Nagy, ZS. Gerencsér, I. Radnai, P. Gyovai, T. Donkó, A. Dalle Zotte, I. Curik, ZS. Szendrő

Abstract

In this study, the rabbit breeding programme conducted at the Kaposvár University is extensively discussed. Population history and recorded traits, creation of the different synthetic lines, evolution of their selection criteria,  stimation of the genetic parameters and genetic trends are the main elements described. The programme (Pannon rabbit breeding programme) is operated with 1 maternal line and 2 paternal lines. At present the maternal line (Pannon Ka) is selected for number of kits born alive, while the 2 paternal lines are pre-selected for litter weight (Pannon White) and average daily gain (Pannon terminal line), respectively, then they are both selected for thigh muscle volume (based on computer tomography (CT) measurements). All these traits are evaluated by BLUP methodology. According to the genetic parameter estimations, the heritability of the reproductive traits (litter size and litter weight) was low (0.05-0.17 and 0.08-0.17). When the litter size component traits were extended with dominance effects, the magnitude of the dominance components varied between 0.05 and 0.08. Average daily gain and thigh muscle volume were moderately heritable (0.21-0.27 and 0.19-0.25), while heritability estimates of the carcass traits (dressing out percentage and hind part ratio) were high (0.47 and 0.59). Computer tomography based traits showed favourable high genetic correlations with the carcass traits (dressing out percentage: 0.45-0.47 and hind part ratio: 0.59). On the contrary, strong negative correlation was estimated between thigh muscle volume and litter weight (–0.37 and –0.70). The selection responses obtained for all analysed traits were within the range published by the relevant literature. The success of the CT-based selection for improving meat production was justified by different methods (crossing experiment, divergent selection, estimated genetic trends). In addition to the slow increase in the inbreeding level of the Pannon White breed, it also proves the effectiveness of the circular mating scheme used in all three rabbit breeds in the programme.


Keywords

breeding programme; selection response; genetic parameters; divergent selection experiments

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References

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