Estimation of changes in genetic parameters in selected lines of mice using REML with an animal model. 2. Body weight, body composition and litter size

Heredity (Edinb). 1992 Oct;69 ( Pt 4):361-71. doi: 10.1038/hdy.1992.136.


Restricted Maximum Likelihood (REML) with an animal model was used to estimate genetic parameters of body weight, body consumption and litter size of lines of mice selected for 20 generations on an index of lean mass at 10 weeks in males, highly correlated with body weight, and for a further 18 generations on body weight at 10 weeks in males and females. Univariate and multivariate estimates of heritability were about 0.5 and those of common environment correlations were about 0.25 for both body weight and composition. Body weight and fat pad weight had genetic and phenotypic correlations of about 0.5. The heritability estimate of litter size was about 0.15 from univariate analysis, rather lower from multivariate, and the estimate of its genetic correlation with body weight was about 0.25. There were reductions in heritability of both body weight and litter size in later generations, even though full pedigrees were fitted and inferences made to the base population, but a plateau in response to selection for increased body weight could not be explained by a complete attenuation of genetic variance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Composition / genetics*
  • Body Weight / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Litter Size / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains / genetics*
  • Models, Genetic
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Selection, Genetic