Evidence of phenotypic and genetic relationships between sociality, emotional reactivity and production traits in Japanese quail.

TitleEvidence of phenotypic and genetic relationships between sociality, emotional reactivity and production traits in Japanese quail.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsRecoquillay, J, Leterrier, C, Calandreau, L, Bertin, A, Pitel, F, Gourichon, D, Vignal, A, Beaumont, C, Le Bihan-Duval, E, Arnould, C
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue12
Paginatione82157
Date Published2013
ISSN1932-6203
KeywordsAnimals, Coturnix, Emotions, Female, Inheritance Patterns, Male, Phenotype, Quantitative Trait, Heritable, Reproduction, Social Behavior
Abstract

The social behavior of animals, which is partially controlled by genetics, is one of the factors involved in their adaptation to large breeding groups. To understand better the relationships between different social behaviors, fear behaviors and production traits, we analyzed the phenotypic and genetic correlations of these traits in Japanese quail by a second generation crossing of two lines divergently selected for their social reinstatement behavior. Analyses of results for 900 individuals showed that the phenotypic correlations between behavioral traits were low with the exception of significant correlations between sexual behavior and aggressive pecks both at phenotypic (0.51) and genetic (0.90) levels. Significant positive genetic correlations were observed between emotional reactivity toward a novel object and sexual (0.89) or aggressive (0.63) behaviors. The other genetic correlations were observed mainly between behavioral and production traits. Thus, the level of emotional reactivity, estimated by the duration of tonic immobility, was positively correlated with weight at 17 and 65 days of age (0.76 and 0.79, respectively) and with delayed egg laying onset (0.74). In contrast, a higher level of social reinstatement behavior was associated with an earlier egg laying onset (-0.71). In addition, a strong sexual motivation was correlated with an earlier laying onset (-0.68) and a higher number of eggs laid (0.82). A low level of emotional reactivity toward a novel object and also a higher aggressive behavior were genetically correlated with a higher number of eggs laid (0.61 and 0.58, respectively). These results bring new insights into the complex determinism of social and emotional reactivity behaviors in birds and their relationships with production traits. Furthermore, they highlight the need to combine animal welfare and production traits in selection programs by taking into account traits of sociability and emotional reactivity.

DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0082157
Alternate JournalPLoS ONE
PubMed ID24324761
PubMed Central IDPMC3852745