Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate genotype by environment interactions for growth rate and carcass leanness in organic and conventional pig production environments. Organic breeding values for fattening traits were estimated for 37 Hampshire Al-boars based on slaughter records registered for 1805 crossbred offspring raised in an organic environment. The offspring were born and raised in herds certified for organic production. The statistical model included the fixed effects of sex, litter size at 2 weeks and herd. It also included the random effects of herd-year-season, birth litter and animal. Conventional breeding values for the same boars were captured from the breeding organization's genetic evaluation. In the organic environment h(2) was estimated to 0.30 and 0.37 for growth rate and carcass leanness, respectively (r(g)=-0.11). Spearman rank correlations between organic and conventional breeding values, based on 29 boars with >= 20 progenies, were 0.48 for growth rate and 0.42 for carcass leanness. Both correlations were significantly different from 0 and 1. In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate weak genotype by environment interactions for both growth rate and carcass leanness in organic and conventional pig production environments, and there is some re-ranking of boars' breeding values between environments. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Reference: Wallenbeck, A., Rydhmer, L., and Lundeheim, N. (2009). GxE interactions for growth and carcass leanness: Re-ranking of boars in organic and conventional pig production. Livestock Science 123(2-3): 154-160. Available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2008.11.003