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Selection for Duration of Fertility and Mule Duck White Plumage Colour in a Synthetic Strain of Ducks (Anas platyrhynchos)

  • Liu, H.C. (Ilan Branch, Livestock Research Institute, Council of Agriculture) ;
  • Huang, J.F. (Ilan Branch, Livestock Research Institute, Council of Agriculture) ;
  • Lee, S.R. (Ilan Branch, Livestock Research Institute, Council of Agriculture) ;
  • Liu, H.L. (Livestock Research Institute, Council of Agriculture) ;
  • Hsieh, C.H. (Livestock Research Institute, Council of Agriculture) ;
  • Huang, C.W. (Department of Aquaculture, National Taiwan Ocean University) ;
  • Huang, M.C. (Department of Animal Science, National Chung Hsing University) ;
  • Tai, C. (Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Poivey, J.P. (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Station d'Amelioration Genetique des Animaux) ;
  • Rouvier, R. (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) ;
  • Cheng, Y.S. (Livestock Research Institute, Council of Agriculture)
  • Received : 2014.09.22
  • Accepted : 2014.11.08
  • Published : 2015.05.01

Abstract

A synthetic strain of ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) was developed by introducing genes for long duration of fertility to be used as mother of mule ducklings and a seven-generation selection experiment was conducted to increase the number of fertile eggs after a single artificial insemination (AI) with pooled Muscovy semen. Reciprocal crossbreeding between Brown Tsaiya LRI-2 (with long duration of fertility) and Pekin L-201 (with white plumage mule ducklings) ducks produced the G0. Then G1 were intercrossed to produce G2 and so on for the following generations. Each female duck was inseminated 3 times, at 26, 29, and 32 weeks of age. The eggs were collected for 14 days from day 2 after AI. Individual data regarding the number of incubated eggs (Ie), the number of fertile eggs at candling at day 7 of incubation (F), the total number of dead embryos (M), the maximum duration of fertility (Dm) and the number of hatched mule ducklings (H) with plumage colour were recorded. The selection criterion was the breeding values of the best linear unbiased prediction animal model for F. The results show high percentage of exhibited heterosis in G2 for traits to improve (19.1% for F and 12.9% for H); F with a value of 5.92 (vs 3.74 in the Pekin L-201) was improved in the G2. Heritabilities were found to be low for Ie ($h^2=0.07{\pm}0.03$) and M ($h^2=0.07{\pm}0.01$), moderately low for Dm ($h^2=0.13{\pm}0.02$), of medium values for H ($h^2=0.20{\pm}0.03$) and F ($h^2=0.23{\pm}0.03$). High and favourable genetic correlations existed between F and Dm ($r_g=0.93$), between F and H ($r_g=0.97$) and between Dm and H ($r_g=0.90$). The selection experiment showed a positive trend for phenotypic values of F (6.38 fertile eggs in G10 of synthetic strain vs 5.59 eggs in G4, and 3.74 eggs in Pekin L-201), with correlated response for increasing H (5.73 ducklings in G10 vs 4.86 in G4, and 3.09 ducklings in Pekin L-201) and maximum duration of the fertile period without increasing the embryo mortality rate. The average predicted genetic response for F was 40% of genetic standard deviation per generation of selection. The mule ducklings' feather colour also was improved. It was concluded that this study provided results for a better understanding of the genetics of the duration of fertility traits in the common female duck bred for mule and that the selection of a synthetic strain was effective method of improvement.

Keywords

Duck;Duration of Fertilization;Fertility;Selection;Plumage Colour

Acknowledgement

Supported by : National Science Council

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