Two experiments of divergent selection on uterine efficiency were performed. Rabbit does were unilaterally ovariectomized and a laparoscopy was made at mid gestation to count the number of corpora lutea and implanted embryos. Selection was on the number of dead fetuses (ND) betweeen implantation and birth in he second gestation in the first experiment, and on litter size in the second one. Selection on ND was not effective in experiment 1, although an indirect response was observed in number of corpora lutea and implanted embryos. No changes in fetal survival were found. Selection on litter size was effective in experiment 2, but due to an increase in the number of implanted embryos. The genetic variability of uterine efficiency seems to depend more on embryo survival and implantation sites than on fetal survival.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 19. Selection and quantitative genetics; growth; reproduction; lactation; fish; fiber; meat., , 265–267, 1994
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