Impact of dominance effects on sow longevity


T. Serenius, Biotechnology and Food Research, MTT Agrifood Research Finland, 31600 Jokioinen, Finland. Tel: +358 3 4188 3614; Fax: +358 3 4188 3618; E-mail:


The purpose of the current study was to estimate variance components, especially dominance genetic variation, for overall leg action, length of productive life and sow stayability until third and fifth parity in the Finnish pig populations. The variance components were estimated in two purebred [Landrace (LR), n = 23 602 and Large White (LW), n =22 984] and crossbred (LR × LW, n = 17 440) data sets. Five different analyses were carried out for all the traits to compare the effect of sows’ inbreeding, common litter environment and parental dominance in the statistical model when determining the genetic correlations of the traits for the two purebred and crossbred populations. Estimated heritabilities for the traits ranged from 0.04 to 0.06. The estimates for the proportion of dominance variance of phenotypic variance (d2) varied between 0.01 and 0.17, and was highest in the crossbred dataset. The genetic correlations of the same traits in purebred and crossbred were all high (>0.75). Based on current results, the effect of dominance should be accounted for in the breeding value estimation of sow longevity, especially when data from crossbred animals are included in the analyses. Because dominance genetic variation for sow longevity exists that variation should be utilized through planned matings in producing sows for commercial production.