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The growth of mice selected for large and small size in relation to food intake and the efficiency of conversion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2009

R. C. Roberts
ARC Unit of Animal Genetics, Institute of Animal Genetics, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JN
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Mice selected for large size show increases in both food intake and efficiency, and small mice show decreases in both. This is true whether the comparisons are made at the same age or at the same weight. Food intake and efficiency contributed more or less equally to the responses to selection for growth. Mice seem to regulate their food intake to a certain level of energy. On suspension of a period of food restriction, mice ate the same amount as others of the same strain that had not been restricted, and which were bigger. At the same time, they converted it more efficiently than the mice which had been full-fed throughout, because of a linear negative association between efficiency and body weight. Thus, following restriction, mice eat as much as bigger mice of the same age, and convert it as efficiently as younger mice of the same weight. The product of these two effects gives rise to rapid (compensatory) growth.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1981



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