Genetic Parameters of Body Length and Response to Selection for Growth Across Four Generations of Artemia sinica
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To investigate the genetic components of growth in the brine shrimp Artemia sinica, we estimated the genetic parameters of body length and the response to selection using a fully pedigreed population of A. sinica. The base population was generated from four wild founder populations. We tested 4160 offspring in 360 families over four generations for growth and survival performance. Across four generations, we produced full- and half-sib families with nested mating, where two dams were mated to the same sire. Individual body length was measured for each nauplius at day 20 post-hatching. Heritability of body length was estimated across four generations with the restricted maximum likelihood method. The heritability of body length in A. sinica was low (0.14 ± 0.05), and the common environmental effect was 0.14 ± 0.02. We estimated the response to selection for body length by calculating the difference in the mean breeding values between different generations. The accumulated genetic gain in body length was 278.94 μm after three generations of selection. This low response to selection was probably caused by the low heritability of body length, small sample size, and the low selection intensity (50%). The results suggest that A. sinica selective breeding programs must be changed to generate any substantial, sustainable genetic increases in body length. We suggest that optimal genetic gains could be achieved by introducing wild strains into the nuclear breeding population to increase genetic variation, and by increasing the size of the breeding population to allow for increased selection intensity.
Key wordsArtemia sinica body length heritability selection responses
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This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31502163).
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