DOI: 10.3390/ani13172738 ISSN:

Scarce Evidence of Heterosis for Growth Traits in Peruvian Guinea Pigs

José Isaí Cedano-Castro, Maria Wurzinger, Gustavo Gutiérrez, Ronald Jiménez, Amparo Elena Huamán Cristóbal, Johann Sölkner
  • General Veterinary
  • Animal Science and Zoology

This study aimed to estimate the heterosis for productive traits in a two-way crossbreeding scheme. Four guinea pig lines were originally selected for the following traits: line P1 for the growth rate, P2 for the partial feed conversion rate, M1 for the growth rate of the litter at 10 days of age, and M2 for the litter size at birth. The comparison included 176 purebreds (P1: 46, P2: 43, M1: 54 and M2: 33) and 150 crosses (P1P2: 42, P2P1: 38, M1M2: 11 and M2M1: 59); body weights at birth, 10 days, weaning and 60 days of age were analyzed. A linear fixed-effect model was used, and heterosis was estimated as the difference between the average performance of the crossbred and pure-line animals. The pure line comparisons showed that P2 was lower than P1 for weight at 10 days and weaning weight, while all other comparisons between the paternal and maternal pure lines were not significant. The results indicated significant positive heterosis effects for both types of crosses, but only for birth weight: 3.7% for paternal crosses and 12.7% for maternal crosses. The heterosis estimates were mostly positive but not significant for all other traits. A reason for the low levels of heterosis could be that the lines are not very genetically differentiated. These results suggest that applying a two-way crossbreeding scheme within paternal and maternal guinea pig lines for meat production is not recommended due to the absence of heterosis for growth traits.

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