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Effect of feed restriction on the environmental variability of birth weight in divergently selected lines of mice.

TitleEffect of feed restriction on the environmental variability of birth weight in divergently selected lines of mice.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsFormoso-Rafferty, N, Cervantes, I, Sánchez, JPablo, Gutiérrez, JPablo, Bodin, L
JournalGenet Sel Evol
Date Published2019 Jun 13
KeywordsAnimals, Biological Variation, Population, Birth Weight, Caloric Restriction, Environment, Female, Genetic Speciation, Male, Mice, Selection, Genetic, Selective Breeding

BACKGROUND: Selection of mice for decreased environmental variability of birth weight has achieved higher survivability and larger litter size as a correlated response to canalized selection, which suggests higher welfare and robustness, and animals that are more homogeneous. However, in these studies, animals were not exposed to an environmental challenge. To demonstrate the advantages of this mouse line with a low environmental variability of birth weight, animals from two divergent lines (high and low variability of birth weight) were subjected to feed restriction. The objective of this study was to use these divergent lines to compare their response in terms of robustness against an environmental challenge. At weaning, 120 females, i.e. four full-sib females from 10 random litters of three consecutive generations of selection, were chosen from these divergent lines. The total number of females was divided into four groups, which were subjected to a feeding regimen by imposing different levels of feed restriction (i.e. 75, 90 and 85% of full ad libitum feed across three generations, respectively) in different combinations during the growth and reproduction periods.

RESULTS: Animals from the "low" line were less sensitive to a change in feed level than those from the "high" line. Regarding reproduction, the "low" line performed better in terms of number of females having parturitions, number of parturitions, and litter size. Imposing a feed restriction on female mice during their growth period did not affect the birth weight of their pups. The "low" line was preferred because of its higher reproductive efficiency and survival under an environmental challenge.

CONCLUSIONS: Selection for decreased environmental variability of birth weight produces animals that are less sensitive to environmental conditions, which can be interpreted as having greater robustness.

Alternate JournalGenet. Sel. Evol.
PubMed ID31195962
PubMed Central IDPMC6567395
Grant ListEU 633531 Feed a gene / / Horizon 2020 /
RTA2014-00015-C02-02 / / Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad, Gobierno de España /