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Genotype–environment interactions for growth and carcass traits in different pig breeds kept under conventional and organic production systems

  • H. Brandt (a1), D. N. Werner (a1), U. Baulain (a2), W. Brade (a3) and F. Weissmann (a4)...

Abstract

The demand for special breeding programmes for organic pig meat production is based on the assumption that pigs kept under organic conditions need different biological properties compared with conventionally kept pigs in order to achieve a good performance. This would mean that genotype–environment interactions exist. Therefore, 682 pigs of seven different genotypes were tested for growth performance and carcass quality under conventional and organic environments at two testing stations to verify genotype–environment interactions. All genotypes achieved significantly better results within the conventional environment and there were significant interactions between genotype and environment for all the criteria of growth performance and carcass quality. The interactions are mainly caused by varying differences between organic and conventional systems within genotypes, but for all traits, except weight gain, no major shift of the ranking order within environment between genotypes. Although statistically significant genotype–environment interactions exist, the modern genotypes selected under conventional conditions are also superior to indigenous breeds under organic conditions in economically important traits. Hence, it can be concluded from these results that no special breeding programme is necessary for organic production systems.

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animal
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