A Canonical Correlation Analysis of Relationships Between Growth, Compositional Traits and Longevity, Lifetime Productivity and Efficiency in Polish Landrace Sows

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Abstract

Relationships between performance test traits (growth rate, backfat thickness, loin depth, lean meat percentage, exterior, phenotypic selection index) and longevity traits (length of productive life, number of litters, total number of weaned pigs, number of weaned piglets per year, number of litters per year) in Landrace sows were evaluated using canonical correlation analysis. The data set consisted of 23,012 purebred sows that farrowed from 1994 to 2011 in 161 herds. The first three canonical correlations (0.37, 0.25, 0.07) were highly significant (P<0.0001). Correlations of the first canonical variate with the original measured variables indicated that sows with high values for this variate had lower growth rate (r=-0.31) and loin depth (r=-0.43), greater backfat thickness (r=0.23), as well as being older at birth of their last litter (r=0.98). These sows also had a greater number of litters (r=0.94) and better lifetime efficiency (r=0.61 and r=0.70 for number of weaned piglets per year and number of litters per year, respectively). Canonical loadings for the second canonical function indicate that sows with high values for the second set of variates had high growth rate (r=0.79) and phenotypic selection index (r=0.83), excellent conformation (r=0.62), as well as better efficiency in pig production (r=0.67). The squared multiple correlations show that the first canonical variate of the performance traits is a poor predictor of longevity (0.13) and nearly useless for predicting efficiency traits (0.07). Performance test traits explain 11% of the variance in the variables of longevity and lifetime productivity, whereas dependent variables explain only 3% of the variance in performance test traits. The relationships between performance test data and subsequent lifetime productivity or longevity were significant and unfavourable but low for Polish Landrace population

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