Familial cholesterolemia in pigeons

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      Selection utilizing a positive assortive mating plan was used to develop high and low serum cholesterol lines in Racing Homer and White Carneau pigeons. The mean serum cholesterol value (MSCV) of both high lines was increased, but only the Low White Carneau line was decreased. By the third generation, the MSCV of the High White Carneau line had reached 390 ± 8.3 mg/100 ml. This was significantly higher (P > 0.05) than the MSCV, 297 ± 6.7, of the Low White Carneau line. Both values were significantly different (P > 0.05) from the MSCV, 321 ± 5.6, of the original White Carneau population. The third generation of the High Racing Homer line had a MSCV of 405 ± 9.2, which was significantly higher (P > 0.05) than 311 ± 6.0, the MSCV of the Low Racing Homer line. Only the MSCV of the high line differed significantly (P > 0.05) from the MSCV, 289 ± 12.0, of the original Racing Homer population.
      Heritability estimates of the serum cholesterol level for three generations of each breed were calculated. The heritability estimate for the Racing Homer Breed was 0.51 ± 0.06, while the White Carneau estimate was 0.52 ± 0.06. The combined heritability estimate for both breeds was 0.51 ± 0.04.


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