a1 INRA UR337 Station de Génétique Quantitative et Appliquée, F-78352 Jouy-en-Josas, France
a2 INRA UMR1079 Systèmes d’Elevage, Nutrition Animale et Humaine, F-35590 Saint-Gilles, France
a3 INRA UE332 Domaine expérimental de Bourges, F-18300 Osmoy, France
Genetic trends for body composition and blood plasma parameters of newborn piglets were estimated through the comparison of two groups of pigs (G77 and G98, respectively) produced by inseminating Large White (LW) sows with semen from LW boars born either in 1977 or in 1998. Random samples of 18 G77 and 19 G98 newborn piglets were used for whole carcass and tissue sampling. Plasma concentrations of glucose, albumin and IGF-1 were determined on 75 G77 and 90 G98 piglets from 18 litters. The G98 piglets had less carcass dry matter, protein and energy (P < 0.01) than their G77 counterparts. When expressed in g/kg birth weight, livers were lighter (P < 0.001) and contained less glycogen (P < 0.01) in G98 piglets, with no difference in the activity of the hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase between G98 and G77 piglets. Concentrations of protein, DNA, RNA in longissimus dorsi muscle were unaffected by selection. Plasma concentrations of glucose (P < 0.05) and IGF-1 (P < 0.01) were lower in G98 than in G77 piglets. On the whole, the results suggest that the improvement in lean growth rate and in sow prolificacy from 1977 to 1998 has resulted in a lower maturity of piglets at birth.
(Received February 28 2007)
(Accepted July 30 2007)