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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted Articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.18.0718    [Accepted] Published online February 14, 2019.
Selection of Candidate Genes Affecting Meat Quality and Preliminary Exploration of Related Molecular Mechanisms in the Mashen Pig
Pengfei Gao1, Zhimin Cheng1, Meng Li1, Ningfang Zhang1, Baoyu Le1, Wanfeng Zhang1, Pengkang Song1, Xiaohong Guo1, Bugao Li1, Guoqing Cao1,*
College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University, Taigu 030801, China
Correspondence:  Guoqing Cao, Tel: +86-13403665105, Fax: +86-0354-6289295, Email: anniecao710502@aliyun.com
Received: 20 September 2018   • Revised: 30 November 2018   • Accepted: 7 February 2019
Objective: The aim of this study was to select the candidate genes affecting meat quality and preliminarily explore the related molecular mechanisms in the Mashen pig.


The present study explored genetic factors affecting meat quality in the Mashen pig using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). We sequenced the transcriptomes of 180-day-old Mashen and Large White pigs using longissimus dorsi to select differentially expressed genes (DEGs).


The results indicated that a total of 425 genes were differentially expressed between Mashen and Large White pigs. A gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis revealed that DEGs were mainly enriched for biological processes associated with metabolism and muscle development, while a Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis showed that DEGs mainly participated in signaling pathways associated with amino acid metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, and skeletal muscle differentiation. A MCODE analysis of the protein-protein interaction network indicated that the four identified subsets of genes were mainly associated with translational initiation, skeletal muscle differentiation, amino acid metabolism, and oxidative phosphorylation pathways.
Based on the analysis results, we selected GOT1, MDH1, PDHA1, PDK4, and AP-1 as candidate genes affecting meat quality in pigs. A discussion of the related molecular mechanisms is provided so as to offer a theoretical basis for future studies on the improvement of meat quality in pigs.
Keywords: Pig; Candidate Gene; Molecular Mechanism; Meat Quality; RNA-Seq

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