Genome-wide identification of quantitative trait loci for carcass composition and meat quality in a large-scale White Duroc × Chinese Erhualian resource population

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SummaryCarcass and meat quality traits are economically important in pigs. In this study, 17 carcass composition traits and 23 meat quality traits were recorded in 1028 F2 animals from a White Duroc × Erhualian resource population. All pigs in this experimental population were genotyped for 194 informative markers covering the entire porcine genome. Seventy-seven genome-wide significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) for carcass traits and 68 for meat quality were mapped to 34 genomic regions. These results not only confirmed many previously reported QTL but also revealed novel regions associated with the measured traits. For carcass traits, the most prominent QTL was identified for carcass length and head weight at 57 cM on SSC7, which explained up to 50% of the phenotypic variance and had a 95% confidence interval of only 3 cM. Moreover, QTL for kidney and spleen weight and lengths of cervical vertebrae were reported for the first time in pigs. For meat quality traits, two significant QTL on SSC5 and X were identified for both intramuscular fat content and marbling score in the longissimus muscle, while three significant QTL on SSC1 and SSC9 were found exclusively for IMF. Both LM and the semimembranous muscle showed common QTL for colour score on SSC4, 5, 7, 8, 13 and X and discordant QTL on other chromosomes. White Duroc alleles at a majority of QTL detected were favourable for carcass composition, while favourable QTL alleles for meat quality originated from both White Duroc and Erhualian.

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