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

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Abstract

Summary

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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