Maternal behavior around parturition is important to piglet survival. An extreme form of failure of maternal behavior, also called maternal infanticide, often occurs in some sows. This is defined as an active attack to piglets using the jaws, resulting in serious or fatal bite wounds within 24 h of birth. It leads to considerable economic losses to the pig industry and severe problems in pig welfare. In this study, maternal behaviors from 5 h before to 24 h after parturition were recorded in detail on 288 White Duroc × Erhualian intercross F2 sows over their three continuous farrowings. In the F2 population 12.8% gilts showed maternal infanticide in their first litter, while the incidences of maternal infanticide at their second and third farrowing reduced to 7.5% and 4.5%, respectively. All F2 sows were genotyped for 194 microsatellite markers spanning the whole pig genome. A whole genome linkage analysis was performed using the non-parametric linkage test by SimWalk2 software. The results identified that seven chromosome regions on SSC2, SSC6, SSC14, SSC15 and SSCX were significantly linked with maternal infanticide (P < 0.05). The quantitative trait loci (QTL) on SSC2 and SSCX achieved P < 0.01 significance level. The most promising QTLs, however, were detected on X chromosome where three peaks of negative logarithm of P-value located at marker SW980, SW2456 and SW1608. QTLs on SSC2 and SSCX from this experiment were consistent with published results from the Western commercial lines. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
- F resource population 2
- Maternal infanticide