The length of a sow’s productive life (SPL) in a herd is an important component contributing to economic returns to pork producers. Reproductive performance, locomotion, and structural soundness are major factors influencing SPL. Due to low and moderate heritability of reproductive traits, marker assisted selection (MAS) may be an effective tool to reduce the culling rate of sows and thereafter improve SPL. In this study, 119 SNPs from 95 genes were examined in a commercial sow population with recorded reproductive traits for six parities. The association analyses revealed a number of potentially interesting genes associated with total number born, number born alive in the first and later parities, and with gestation length in several continual parities. These associated genes could be considered for marker assisted selection to improve SPL in commercial sow population.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kenneth_stalder/90/