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Selection pressure on the number of teats has been applied to be able to provide enough teats for the increase in litter size in pigs. Although many QTL were reported, they cover large chromosomal regions and the functional mutations and their underlying biological mechanisms have not yet been identified. To gain a better insight in the genetic architecture(More)
The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is heritable social variation in ADG from birth until weaning in piglets. Nursing and the establishment of teat order are sources of social interaction among suckling piglets nursed by the same sow. If a heritable social effect is present, but ignored, the selected animals might be the most competitive(More)
Production traits such as growth rate may depend on the social interactions between group members. These social interactions may be partly heritable and are referred to as indirect genetic effects (IGE) or social, associative, or competitive genetic effects. Indirect genetic effects may contribute to heritable variation in traits and can therefore be used(More)
Traditional breeding programs consider an average pairwise kinship between sibs. Based on pedigree information, the relationship matrix is used for genetic evaluations disregarding variation due to Mendelian sampling. Therefore, inbreeding and kinship coefficients are either over or underestimated resulting in reduction of accuracy of genetic evaluations(More)
BACKGROUND In many countries, male piglets are castrated shortly after birth because a proportion of un-castrated male pigs produce meat with an unpleasant flavour and odour. Main compounds of boar taint are androstenone and skatole. The aim of this high-density genome-wide association study was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated(More)
BACKGROUND Boar taint is an unpleasant condition of pork, mainly due to the accumulation of androstenone and skatole in male pigs at onset of puberty. This condition is the cause of considerable economic losses in the pig industry and the most common practice to control it is to castrate male piglets. Because of the economic and animal welfare concerns(More)
The independent domestication of local wild boar populations in Asia and Europe about 10,000 years ago led to distinct European and Asian pig breeds, each with very different phenotypic characteristics. During the Industrial Revolution, Chinese breeds were imported to Europe to improve commercial traits in European breeds. Here we demonstrate the presence(More)
Pigs housed together in a group influence each other's growth. Part of this effect is genetic and can be represented in a social breeding value. It is unknown, however, which traits are associated with social breeding values. The aim of this study was, therefore, to investigate whether personality and response to novelty could be associated with social(More)
Social interactions between individuals living in a group can have both positive and negative effects on welfare, productivity, and health of these individuals. Negative effects of social interactions in livestock are easier to observe than positive effects. For example, laying hens may develop feather pecking, which can cause mortality due to cannibalism,(More)
In the pig industry, male piglets are surgically castrated early in life to prevent boar taint. Boar taint is mainly caused by androstenone and skatole. Androstenone is a pheromone that can be released from the salivary glands when the boar is sexually aroused. Boars are housed in groups and as a consequence boars can influence and be influenced by the(More)