Microbial communities play an important role in biological processes in the host body, and might influence heritabilities (h2) and accuracy of breeding values (BV) estimated for phenotypic measures on the host. The report herein was made by analyzing bacteria in fecal samples of 1131 pigs at 15 weeks after weaning. Heritability was estimated for back fat thickness at week 22, and average daily gain from weaning to week 22 post weaning, hereafter BF22 and ADG22, respectively. Heritability for BF22 was estimated to be 0.52±0.05 without microbiome information included in the model. This h2 dropped to 0.31±0.06 when estimated from a model that included microbiome data and interaction between the host genotypes and microbiome. Similar trend was observed in ADG22, where h2 dropped from 0.27±0.06 to 0.09±0.03. Standard errors of BV for BF22 and ADG22 became smaller when microbiome information was included in the models. The findings from this report might indicate that including information from fecal microbiome in statistical models improves the accuracy of estimated breeding values in pigs. Keywords: fecal microbiome, genotypes, variance components, pigs

Duc Lu, Francesco Tiezzi, Constatino Schillebeeckx, Nathan McNulty, Clint Schwab, Christian Maltecca

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Biology - Feed Intake and Efficiency 2, , 614, 2018
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