Estimation of Additive and Non-Additive Genetic Variances of Body Weight, Egg Weight and Egg Production for Quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) with an Animal Model Analysis
This study estimates the additive and non-additive variances for egg production and body weight traits of two lines of quails from a long-term selection with the help of the REML method. For the body weight of 42-day-old females (BW42f) and males (BW42m), a total of 7,934 records for line 1 and 7,214 records for line 2 from 21 generations were used in our analyses. Additionally, 1,717 records of females from line 1 and 1,671 records of females from line 2 contained information on their egg production at an age of 42 to 200 days (EN200), on the average egg weight for the first 11 weeks of their laying season (EW1), on the average egg weight from weeks 12 to 23 (EW2), and on their body weight at an age of 200 days (BW200f). A multivariate additive animal model and one-trait dominance models, which include the inbreeding coefficients as covariates, were fitted to the data. The estimates of the heritability gained from our dominance models were smaller than those from the additive model. For line 1, the heritability values decreased for EN200 from 0.35 to 0.32, for EW1 from 0.66 to 0.56, for BW200f from 0.42 to 0.38, and for BW200m from 0.51 to 0.49, respectively. For the first line, the respective ratio (d 2) of the dominance variance to the phenotypic variance for EN200, EW1, BW200f and BW200m was 0.08, 0.22, 0.09 and 0.21, and the values for the second line were 0.12, 0.06, 0.001 and 0.23.