Endocrine and testicular responses to unilateral castration on 1, 10, 56, or 112 days of age were characterized in 132 Chinese Meishan (MS) × White composite (WC) crossbred boars in which testicular size associates with a quantitative trait locus (QTL) on X chromosome. At 220 days of age, testicles of boars unilaterally castrated on Day 1 or 10 weighed more and had greater total daily sperm production (DSP) than one testicle of bilaterally intact boars (P < 0.05); compensation did not double these two responses. Boars with MS alleles at the X chromosome QTL had smaller testicles, darker colored parenchyma, and lower total DSP than boars with WC alleles (P < 0.05). The MS alleles engendered greater (P < 0.05) plasma FSH and LH during puberty than WC alleles. Plasma FSH increased (P < 0.05) within 48 h of unilateral castration on Days 1, 10, and 56. Subsequent increases occurred earlier during puberty (P < 0.05) after unilateral castration at younger ages than after unilateral castration at older ages. Pubertal increases in plasma FSH and LH were greater (P < 0.05) in boars with MS alleles than in those with WC alleles for the X chromosome QTL. Breed of Y chromosome had no effect on testicular traits, FSH, testosterone, or estrone. For LH, boars with an MS Y chromosome had greater (P < 0.01) plasma LH across all ages than boars with a WC Y chromosome. We conclude that a gene or groups of genes that reside on the porcine X chromosome regulate testicular development and pubertal gonadotropin concentrations.
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