Received: September 5, 2016; Revised: November 9, 2016. Accepted: January 8, 2017. Published online January 13, 2017.
Objective: Growth-related traits are important economic traits in the swine industry. However, the genetic mechanism of growth-related traits is little known. The aim of this study is to screen the candidate genes and molecular markers associated with body dimension and body weight traits in pigs.
Method: A genome-wide association study (GWAS) on body dimension and body weight traits was performed in a White Duroc × Erhualian F2 intercross by the illumina PorcineSNP60K Beadchip. A mixed linear model was used to assess the association between SNPs and the phenotypes.
Results: In total, 611 and 79 SNPs were identified significantly associated with body dimension traits and body weight respectively. All SNPs but 62 were located into 23 genomic regions (QTLs) on 14 autosomal and X chromosomes in Sus scrofa Build 10.2 assembly. Out of the 23 QTLs with the suggestive significance level (5×10-4), three QTLs exceeded the genome-wide significance threshold (1.15×10-6). Except the one on SSC7 which was reported previously all the QTLs are novel. In addition, we identified 5 promising candidate genes, including CDC7 for abdominal circumference (AC), PLAG1 and GPR7 for both body weight (BW) and cannon bone circumference (CBC) on SSC4, PCK1 and BMP7 for hip circumference (HC) on SSC17.
Conclusion: The results have not only demonstrated a number of potential genes/loci associated with the growth-related traits in pigs, but also laid a foundation for studying the genes’ role and further identifying causative variants underlying these loci.
Key words: pig; GWAS; candidate gene; body dimension; body weight
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