Quantitative genetics of ontogeny of sexual dimorphism in red junglefowl (Gallus gallus)

T. H. Parker*, D. Garant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We studied phenotypic patterns and underlying quantitative genetics of development of sexual size dimorphism in red junglefowl (Gallus gallus). Using a multigenerational pedigree and the 'animal model' technique, we found significant heritability for many of the size and growth-related traits we examined, as well as significant genetic correlations among them. Despite sexual size dimorphism throughout posthatching ontogeny, the genetic correlation between males and females for all size measurements and growth parameters remained high. Significant positive phenotypic and genetic correlations between the fastest rate of growth and mass at week 26 (near asymptote) indicate that faster growth when young promotes larger adult size. However, age at which peak growth is reached does not appear to be phenotypically or genetically correlated with adult size. Positive genetic correlations within traits among ages were common, demonstrating that the genetic variance important to growth is relatively consistent among ages. However, male mass and tarsus length showed no genetic correlation between week 0 values and those from later ages. The body size traits of mass and tarsus length were genetically correlated with each other in females, but this pattern was not significant in males. Thus, despite striking sexual dimorphism in size and growth trajectories, size dimorphic traits in junglefowl show, with some exceptions, genetic integration between the sexes, among ages, and between traits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-407
Number of pages7
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Among-age
  • Animal model
  • Between-sex
  • Development
  • Growth curve
  • Sexual selection


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