Selection for growth in Coturnix coturnix japonica on a low protein ration Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/sn00b169z

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  • Several experiments were carried out on Coturnix coturnix japonica to investigate the effect of selection for growth on a protein deficient ration. A level of 27% protein was found to be optimum for three different strains and 17.8% was the lowest protein level used that allowed for growth and accordingly this latter level was chosen as that on which to carry out selection. Despite the fact that a statistical analysis showed no difference between three strains, strain 908 was chosen on the basis of the slightly better two-week body weight on the deficient diet as well as for the fact that management facilities did not permit continuing selection with all three strains. The apparent lack of response to mass or individual selection led to the adoption of progeny testing as a basis for selection. Two weeks on the deficient diet immediately upon hatching was not found to be significantly different from a selection standpoint from one week on the normal diet followed by two weeks on the deficient diet. Notwithstanding the lack of difference, the former was chosen because it allowed economy of time and also a lower incidence of a crop disorder observed in the course of the investigations. A maximum response for two-week body weight of 7.6 gms was observed after six series of matings over the control line. Heritability estimates for growth on a deficient diet based on full-sib analysis were 0.17, 0.62 and 0.39 for sire, dam and combined components, respectively, and 0.18 from parent-offspring regression in the selected line. Realized heritability was 0.16. Maternal and non-additive genetic effects were deemed to be important factors of variation in growth. Egg weight increased by two grams as a correlated response to selection for two-week body weight. The sixth series showed the most notable changes. Fertility and hatchability decreased by 10% from the fifth to the sixth series and inbreeding which was negligible for the most part increased by 0.1 in the last series. A significant genetic-environmental interaction in the incidence of pendulous crop was noted. The incidence of this defect was successfully increased by selection of affected birds. The condition was apparently brought on by an increased water consumption induced by a high sugar (cerelose) level in the diet. Special emphasis was placed on determining whether selection was for a specific resistance to the protein deficiency rather than for an overall superior growth rate. As a result of the apparent failure in the selection for a specific resistance to protein deficiency through six series of matings and in view of a similar difficulty encountered by investigators who worked with chickens, it is suggested that perhaps tissue amino acid analysis or perhaps enzyme activity in the selected line may be more sensitive criteria than body weight under such experimental conditions.
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