Identification of genes related to intramuscular fat independent of backfat thickness in Duroc pigs using single-step genome-wide association.


Zhang Z(1), Zhang Z(2), Oyelami FO(1), Sun H(1), Xu Z(1), Ma P(1), Wang Q(2), Pan Y(2).
Author information:
(1)Department of Animal Science, School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800# Dongchuan Road, Shanghai, East, 200240, China.
(2)Department of Animal Science, College of Animal Science, Zhejiang University, 866# Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou, East, 310058, China.


Intramuscular fat (IMF) is an important meat-quality trait of pigs, which influences pork's shearing force, hydraulics, tenderness and juicy flavor. However, to achieve a higher percentage of lean meat, pigs with lower backfat thickness (BF) are intensively selected for, which may lead to a reduction in pork quality. Therefore, the objective of this study was to locate loci that affect IMF without changing BF. A single-step GWAS was performed on 950 Duroc pigs genotyped by a 50K SNP chip in order to detect genomic variants relevant to IMF and BF. The significant SNPs detected were afterwards divided into a BF subset (seven SNPs), an IMF subset (11 SNPs) and a subset of both traits (12 SNPs), according to their P-value and LD. After SNP and QTL annotation, our results indicated that SSC1: 167938652, 166363826, 164829874 and 167171587 might be associated with IMF without changing BF. In the subset of both traits, we found that the combined effect of ALGA0006602 (SSC1: 159538854) and 12784636 (SSC1: 160773437) might improve the IMF without changing BF. Our gene annotation result showed that TLE3, ITGA11, SMAD6, PAQR5 and [RNF152A/G × MC4RA/A ] genes might affect IMF independently of BF. We believe that the SNPs and genes identified in this study will be valuable for the future molecular breeding of IMF in Duroc pigs.