A genome-wide association study to detect genetic variation for postpartum dysgalactia syndrome in five commercial pig breeding lines

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Postpartum dysgalactia syndrome (PDS) in sows is an important disease after parturition with a relevant economic impact, affecting the health and welfare of both sows and piglets. The genetic background of this disease has been discussed and its heritability estimated, but further genetic analyses are lacking in detail. The aim of the current study was to detect loci affecting the susceptibility to PDS through a genome-wide association approach. The study was designed as a family-based association study with matched sampling of affected sows and healthy half- or full-sib control sows on six farms. For the study, 597 sows (322 affected vs. 275 healthy control sows) were genotyped on 62 163 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using the Illumina PorcineSNP60 BeadChip. After quality control, 585 sows (314 affected vs. 271 healthy control sows) and 49 740 SNPs remained for further analysis. Statistics were performed mainly with the r package genabel and included a principal component analysis. A statistically significant genome-wide associated SNP was identified on porcine chromosome (SSC) 17. Further promising results with moderate significance were detected on SSC 13 and on an unplaced scaffold with an older annotation on SSC 15. The PRICKLE2 and NRP2 genes were identified as candidate genes near associated SNPs. Several quantitative trait loci (QTL) have been previously described in these genomic regions, including QTL for mammary gland condition, as teat number and non-functional nipples QTL, as well as QTL for body temperature and gestation length.

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