We investigated maternal effect on nine body measurement traits (body height, body length, front width (FW), chest width (CW), hind width (HW), chest depth, chest girth (CHG), front cannon circumference (FCC) and rear cannon circumference (RCC)) measured at the end of performance testing and five meat production traits (ages at the start and end of performance testing (D30 and D105), average daily gain (ADG), backfat thickness and loin muscle area) in purebred Duroc pigs. Genetic parameters for each trait were estimated by using six single-trait models with and without common litter environmental effect, maternal genetic effect and direct-maternal genetic correlation. The value of Akaike's information criterion was lowest with the model including direct additive genetic and common litter environmental effects for 10 traits. The estimated proportion of common litter environmental variance to phenotypic variance was approximately ≥0.1 for D30, D105, ADG, FW, CW, HW, CHG, FCC and RCC. Using a model without common litter environmental effect would overestimate the direct heritability of most traits. Standard errors of estimated genetic parameters tended to be larger in models including maternal genetic effect. The results indicate that a compromise could be made for accurate genetic parameter estimation for body measurement traits, as well as meat production traits, in pigs by considering common litter environmental effect.
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