Resilience is the ability of an animal to recover from the challenge of new environmental conditions. Resilience is genetically related to environmental sensitivity. In prolific species, females with low variability in litter size may have higher resilience. We have divergently selected two lines for litter size environmental sensitivity; i.e., one for high litter size environmental variance and the other one for low litter size environmental variance. We have proved that the homogeneous line is less sensitive to stress and less sensitive to diseases than the line selected for litter size heterogeneity. This means that selection for more resilient animals can be carried out by selecting for uniformity of litter size. We have also shown that selection for litter size uniformity is not damaging the reproductive aptitude of the female, which fitness is even better than the line selected for increasing litter size variability. Keywords: disease resistance, resilience, environmental variance, stress, rabbits, divergent selection

Agustin Blasco, Marina Martínez-Alvaro, Mariluz García, Marcela Capcarova, Katarina Zbynovska, Peter Petruska, Noelia Ibáñez-Escriche, María-José Argente

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Challenges - Genotype by Environment Interactions, , 89, 2018
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