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Type: Journal article
Title: Anogenital distance reflects the sex ratio of a gilt's birth litter and predicts her reproductive success
Author: Seyfang, J.
Ralph, C.
Hebart, M.
Tilbrook, A.
Kirkwood, R.
Citation: Journal of Animal Science, 2018; 96(9):3856-3862
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 0021-8812
Statement of
Jemma Seyfang, Cameron R Ralph, Michelle L Hebart, Alan J Tilbrook, Roy N Kirkwood
Abstract: Anogenital distance (AGD) has been used to reflect masculinization in litter-bearing species. As masculinization affects behavior and reproduction, AGD could be measured to assist in selecting gilts with a temperament more suited to commercial production and greater reproductive potential. We hypothesized that gilts from a male-biased litter would have a longer AGD and poorer reproductive performance. In Exp. 1, AGD and weight were measured at day 1, day 21, and week 16 of age for gilts from male-biased litters (≥60% males; n = 51) and female-biased litters (≥60% females; n = 51). Sow AGD was measured 3 d after farrowing. In Exp. 2, AGD was measured at gilt selection at approximately 24 wk of age and gilts followed to second parity. Litter sex ratio affected AGD at 16 wk of age, with gilts from female-biased litters having longer AGD (mean ± SEM, 9.1 ± 0.7 mm vs. 11.0 ± 0.6 mm, P = 0.013). Anogenital distance was not different on day 1 or day 21. There was no effect of sex ratio on weight at any time, and sow AGD was not associated with the sex ratio of her litter. Gilts with an AGD longer than the mean of 11.55 mm were heavier (mean ± SEM, 118.8 ± 0.4 kg vs. 117.7 ± 0.4 kg, P = 0.023), were achieved puberty earlier (179.6 ± 0.6d vs. 182.2 ± 0.6 d, P = 0.001), were mated younger (200.6 ± 0.6 d vs. 203.2 ± 0.6 d, P = 0.001), and were more likely to be mated (91% vs. 83%, P = 0.005) than gilts with an AGD shorter than the mean. Gilts with an AGD greater than 11.55 mm had a greater born alive litter size (11.79 ± 0.20 vs. 11.20 ± 0.19, P = 0.018) compared with gilts with an AGD shorter than 11.55 mm. At 16 wk, AGD was associated with sex bias and could be used as a selection tool to predict reproductive success of the first parity, with a longer AGD being associated with gilts that had been born into a female-biased litter and that had better reproductive performance.
Keywords: Gilts; litter sex bias; reproduction; selection
Rights: © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1093/jas/sky248
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Appears in Collections:Animal and Veterinary Sciences publications
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