Genetic trend in selection for litter weight in two maternal lines of rabbits in Egypt

G. Abou Khadiga, Y.M.K. Youssef, K. Saleh, R.Y. Nofal, Manuel Baselga


An analysis was carried out to evaluate the results of the selection program of a new synthetic maternal line of Egyptian APRI rabbits and the Spanish V line. The selection criterion was litter weaning weight in both lines based on Best Linear Unbiased Prediction (BLUP) estimations under a repeatability animal model. The studied traits were: litter birth weight, litter weaning weight (at 28 d) and pre-weaning litter gain. Heritability estimates were generally low (0.09 to 0.11) and comparable in both lines. Low to moderate estimates of repeatability were observed for all studied traits (0.15 to 0.31). Estimates of genetic correlations were high (0.77 to 0.97), while permanent environmental effects correlations were mostly lower than genetic correlations (0.47 to 0.87). The genetic trends were also estimated using mixed model methodology and were significant and comparable (34.2 and 32.5 g) for the selected trait (litter weaning weight) in APRI and V lines, respectively. Furthermore, correlated genetic trends were significant (P<0.05) for other litter weight traits. These results indicate that the current selection program has been effective in achieving genetic improvement in litter weight traits.


rabbits; lines; selection; mixed model; litter weight

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