Heritability of advertisement call properties of the Japanese quail
Abstract The objective of this study was to investigate genetic variances and covariances among features of the male Japanese quail advertisement call. Duration of the first, second and third syllable, the length of interval 1 (between the first and the second syllable), interval 2 (between the second and the third syllable) and damping (extension of the third syllable) were measured as temporal properties of the call. Spectral properties were peak frequencies of each syllable and the damping component. In this study, 1730 calls were recorded from 488 male Japanese quail. The restricted maximum likelihood procedure for repeated measurements was applied to estimate (co)variance components and genetic parameters for the examined traits. Heritability estimates of call parameters of the male Japanese quail ranged from low to high values (0.04-0.65) and they were generally higher for temporal properties than for spectral properties. Among the temporal properties of the call, the highest genetic correlation was between the first and the second syllable (0.96±0.251) while the lowest genetic correlation was between the first and the third syllable (0.03±0.231). Significant genetic correlations were generally high and positive among peak frequencies of the syllables. Despite the lack of apparent pattern, interval lengths tended to have positive correlation with spectral properties of the call, but the correlation of syllable lengths with spectral properties of the call was negative.