A complete diallel cross was realized between 2003 and 2005 involving 3662 weaning records of four rabbit breeds (California, Chinchilla, New Zealand and Semigiant White) to determine direct and maternal additive effects and heterosis in productivity traits at weaning: weaning interval, weaned litters/year, numerical and ponderal productivity. Genetic effect estimations were done applying linear contrasts after Dickerson (1969) model. Direct additive effects were more important than maternal effects. Ponderal productivity was not affected by additive effects. Direct additive effects were favorable for Chinchilla breed, while maternal effects of the Californian were  superior to Chinchilla`s. Heterosis averaged  6.3, 6.5, 6.1 and 3.7% for the four traits resp. and was significant in 50% of the analysis. Maximum heterosis (6-22%) was found for the reciprocal pairs of crosses: CCh, ChS and CS. Results indicate that useful F1combinations can be identified for increasing productivity in hot climates.

Raquel EPonce de León

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Genetic Improvement Programs: Selection for harsh environments and management of animal genetic resources (Posters), , 417, 2014
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