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The purpose of this study was to detect genetic variation in the porcine H-FABP gene, a candidate gene for meat quality traits in pigs. Lambda phages containing the porcine H-FABP gene were isolated by plaque hybridization with human H-FABP cDNA. The coding and flanking intronic sequences of the porcine H-FABP gene were determined as well as 1.6 kb of the 5 ′ upstream region. The various potential regulatory sequences in this region are in accordance with the function and expression of the protein in muscle and mammary tissue. Furthermore, comparison with the homolog region of the mouse identified a highly conserved 13-bp element (CTTCCT [A/C] TTTCGG) that may be involved in regulation of expression. The porcine H-FABP gene was localized on Chromosome (Chr) 6 by porcine sequence-specific PCR on DNA from a pig/rodent cell hybrid panel. In addition, part of the H-FABP gene was screened for genetic variation by PCR-RFLP analysis. Three PCR-RFLPs were detected, one in the upstream region (HinfI) and two in the second intron (HaeIII and MspI). In most pig breeds the corresponding alleles have a variable distribution, possibly a consequence of selective breeding. This genetic variation will enable us to investigate the role of the H-FABP locus in porcine production and meat quality traits.