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A genome-wide association study for feed efficiency-related traits in a crossbred pig population

  • É. F. Silva (a1) (a2), M. S. Lopes (a2) (a3), P. S. Lopes (a4) and E. Gasparino (a1)


Feed efficiency (FE) is one of the most important traits in pig production. However, it is difficult and costly to measure it, limiting the collection of large amount of data for an accurate selection for better FE. Therefore, the identification of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with FE-related traits to be used in the genetic evaluation is of great interest of pig breeding programs for increasing the prediction accuracy and the genetic progress of these traits. The objective of this study was to identify SNPs significantly associated with FE-related traits: average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and feed conversion ratio (FCR). We also aimed to identify potential candidate genes for these traits. Phenotypic information recorded on a population of 2386 three-way crossbreed pigs that were genotyped for 51 468 SNPs was used. We identified three loci of quantitative trait (QTL) regions associated with ADG and three QTL regions associated with ADFI; however, no significant association was found for FCR. A false discovery rate (FDR) ≤ 0.005 was used as the threshold for declaring an association as significant. The QTL regions associated with ADG on Sus scrofa chromosome (SSC) 1 were located between 177.01 and 185.47 Mb, which overlaps with the QTL regions for ADFI on SSC1 (173.26 and 185.47 Mb). The other QTL region for ADG was located on SSC12 (2.87 and 3.22 Mb). The most significant SNPs in these QTL regions explained up to 3.26% of the phenotypic variance of these traits. The non-identification of genomic regions associated with FCR can be explained by the complexity of this trait, which is a ratio between ADG and ADFI. Finally, the genes CDH19, CDH7, RNF152, MC4R, PMAIP1, FEM1B and GAA were the candidate genes found in the 1 Mb window around the QTL regions identified in this study. Among them, the MC4R gene (SSC1) has a well-known function related to ADG and ADFI. In this study, we identified three QTL regions for ADG (SSC1 and SSC12) and three for ADFI (SSC1). These regions were previously described in purebred pig populations; however, to our knowledge, this is the first study to confirm the relevance of these QTL regions in a crossbred pig population. The potential use of the SNPs and genes identified in this study in prediction models that combine genomic selection and marker-assisted selection should be evaluated for increasing the prediction accuracy of these traits in this population.


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Present address: Topigs Norsvin, Rua Visconde do Rio Branco, 1310 – Sala 52, 80.420-210, Curitiba, PR, Brazil.



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A genome-wide association study for feed efficiency-related traits in a crossbred pig population

  • É. F. Silva (a1) (a2), M. S. Lopes (a2) (a3), P. S. Lopes (a4) and E. Gasparino (a1)


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