Selection for postweaning gain in rats: III. Correlated response in maternal performance.

J. G. Rios, M. K. Nielsen, G. E. Dickerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Effects from 34 generations of selection, either up (U) or down (D), for 3- to 9-wk weight gain on genetic direct and postnatal maternal effects, dam size and maternal efficiency were evaluated in 25 cross-fostered sets of rats. Direct genetic effects on 12-d pup weight were 14 and 9% above controls (C) for U and D lines, respectively (P less than .01). Postnatal maternal effects on 12-d pup weight were also 11% higher for the U line (P less than .01), but not different from C for the D line. Females of the U line were heavier (P less than .01) by 13% at mating, 12% at parturition and 15% at 12 d of lactation, relative to controls. They also produced 11% greater total litter weight at 12 d and consumed 9% more feed, but were only nonsignificantly lower in feed per unit of pup 12-d litter weight. Females of D line were -8, -7 and -3% relative to controls in the three weights, but did not differ from controls in 12-d litter weight, feed consumed or in feed efficiency during lactation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-58
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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