A Bayesian analysis of the effect of selection for growth rate on growth curves in rabbits

  • Agustín BlascoEmail author
  • Miriam Piles
  • Luis Varona
Open Access


Gompertz growth curves were fitted to the data of 137 rabbits from control (C) and selected (S) lines. The animals came from a synthetic rabbit line selected for an increased growth rate. The embryos from generations 3 and 4 were frozen and thawed to be contemporary of rabbits born in generation 10. Group C was the offspring of generations 3 and 4, and group S was the contemporary offspring of generation 10. The animals were weighed individually twice a week during the first four weeks of life, and once a week thereafter, until 20 weeks of age. Subsequently, the males were weighed weekly until 40 weeks of age. The random samples of the posterior distributions of the growth curve parameters were drawn by using Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods. As a consequence of selection, the selected animals were heavier than the C animals throughout the entire growth curve. Adult body weight, estimated as a parameter of the Gompertz curve, was 7% higher in the selected line. The other parameters of the Gompertz curve were scarcely affected by selection. When selected and control growth curves are represented in a metabolic scale, all differences disappear.


growth curves selection rabbits Bayesian analysis 

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2003

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Ciencia AnimalUniversidad Politécnica de ValenciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.IRTA, Unitat de cunicultura, Torre MarimónSpain
  3. 3.UdL-IRTALleidaSpain

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