May 13, 2021

Interpretive Summary: Genetic and phenotypic parameters for body weights, harvest length, and growth curve parameters in American mink

Interpretive Summary: Genetic and phenotypic parameters for body weights, harvest length, and growth curve parameters in American mink

By Anne Zinn

Mink is a major animal used in the fur industry. The price of the pelt is the most economically important factor for mink farmers, and currently, Canadian mink farmers select their breeding animals based on the phenotypic performance of reproduction, growth traits, and fur quality. Therefore, understanding the biology and genetics of growth traits is useful for the selection of animals with better growth potential, but little is known about the genetics of growth curve parameters in mink.

A paper recently published in the Journal of Animal Science aimed to estimate the genetic and phenotypic parameters for growth curve parameters derived from Richards growth model and the correlations of growth curve parameters with body weights and harvest length in American mink. This is the first genetic study of growth curve parameters in mink.

Results of the present study suggest that the selection program to optimize the slope of the growth curve in mink may be feasible. Additionally, the results of the genetic correlations between growth parameters indicate that it is possible to change the shape of the growth curve without impacting the harvest weight and length. Further research is required to determine the effectiveness of reshaping the growth curve in mink through a breeding program.

The full paper can be found on the Journal of Animal Science webpage.