The description of the growth of the Japanese quails is necessary to characterize the genetic potential of these birds raised in different countries. Thus, the aim of this study was to describe the genetic potential of Japanese quails by conducting a meta-analysis considering studies conducted in different countries. Only data about the subspecies Coturnix coturnix japonica were considered; studies regarding Coturnix coturnix coturnix were not examined. The criteria investigated were BW (W), age (t), year of publication and location of the study. Each set of genetic material within a publication was coded as one study. The Gompertz function was used to interpret the growth of laying quails; thus, each study was represented by Gompertz parameters. The W and t data were applied to estimate the values of Gompertz growth parameters, including BW at maturity (Wm), BW at birth (Wi), maturity rate (B) and inflection point (IP). The age at which the maximum growth rate was achieved (t*) was calculated considering the parameters Wm, Wi and B. To estimate these parameters, random regression was used to randomize the parameter Wm. The parameters estimated for each assay were used in exploratory, grouping, and principal component analyses. The values of Wi ranged from 4.1 to 11.6 g. The values of B ranged from 0.0393 to 0.1039/day, and consequently, the values of t* and IP ranged from 14 to 31 days and 9.21 to 31.03 g, respectively. These results show that there is considerable variability in the growth potential of Japanese quails. To better understand this variation, two groups were examined: Brazil and other countries, according to the grouping of Wi, Wm, B and t*; parameter B was the variable that presented the highest specificity, indicating that both groups modified the maturity rate. For the principal component analysis, the year of publication showed a relationship with the growth parameters but only for studies performed in Brazil. For studies carried out in other countries, the changes in growth parameters were not related to the year of publication. In Brazilian studies, there was a decrease in the maturity rate, but the weight at maturity was higher. Therefore, it appears that different strategies of genetic selection were adopted in Brazil compared to other countries.
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