Genome-wide association analysis for growth, muscularity and meat quality in Piétrain pigs

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Improvement in growth and meat quality is one of the main objectives in sire line pig breeding programmes. Mapping quantitative trait loci for these traits using experimental crosses and a linkage-based approach has been performed frequently in the past. The Piétrain breed often was involved as a founder breed to establish the experimental crosses. This breed was selected for muscularity and leanness but shows relatively poor meat quality. It is frequently used as a sire line breed. With the advent of genome-wide and dense SNP chips in pig genomic research, it is possible to also conduct genome-wide association studies within the Piétrain breed. In this study, around 500 progeny-tested sires were genotyped with 60k SNPs. Data filtering showed that around 48k SNPs were useable in this sample. These SNPs were used to conduct a genome-wide association study for growth, muscularity and meat quality traits. Because it is known that a mutation in the RYR1 gene located on chromosome 6 shows a major effect on meat quality, this mutation was included in the models. Single-marker and multimarker association analyses were performed. The results revealed between zero and eight significant associations per trait with P < 5 × 10−5. Of special interest are SNPs located on SSC6, SSC10 and SSC15.

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