The roles of selection experiments in laboratory animals for genetic studies of growth and its components are reviewed.
Results are given for an experiment in which replicate lines of mice were selected 20 generations high and low for one of three criteria: lean weight, or fat percentage, or food intake corrected for body weight. Substantial responses were obtained on each criterion. By recording food intake over growth to maturity and by calorimetry, it was shown that metabolic rate was little affected in the lines selected for lean gain, was a function of lean weight but not total body weight in the fat percentage lines, and was higher in the high than low appetite lines. The high appetite lines were somewhat leaner than the lows, although not sufficiently as to explain the metabolic rate difference; this correlated response was considered due to the higher energy cost of maintaining lean than fat.
These lines are a resource for further analyses at the physiological and more basic genetic level.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XI. Genetics of reproduction, lactation, growth, adaptation, disease, and parasite resistance., , 355–366, 1986
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