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Balcells I.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Castello A.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Mercade A.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Noguera J.L.,Genetica i Millora Animal | And 3 more authors.
BMC Genetics | Year: 2011

Background: Reproductive traits, such as prolificacy, are of great interest to the pig industry. Better understanding of their genetic architecture should help to increase the efficiency of pig productivity through the implementation of marker assisted selection (MAS) programmes.Results: The Mucin 4 (MUC4) gene has been evaluated as a candidate gene for a prolificacy QTL described in an Iberian × Meishan (Ib × Me) F2intercross. For association analyses, two previously described SNPs (DQ124298:g.243A>G and DQ124298:g.344A>G) were genotyped in 347 pigs from the Ib × Me population. QTL for the number of piglets born alive (NBA) and for the total number of piglets born (TNB) were confirmed on SSC13 at positions 44 cM and 51 cM, respectively. The MUC4 gene was successfully located within the confidence intervals of both QTL. Only DQ124298:g.344A>G MUC4 polymorphism was significantly associated with both NBA and TNB (P-value < 0.05) with favourable effects coming from the Meishan origin. MUC4 expression level was determined in F2sows displaying extreme phenotypes for the number of embryos (NE) at 30-32 days of gestation. Differences in the uterine expression of MUC4 were found between high (NE ≥ 13) and low (NE ≤ 11) prolificacy sows. Overall, MUC4 expression in high prolificacy sows was almost two-fold increased compared with low prolificacy sows.Conclusions: Our data suggest that MUC4 could play an important role in the establishment of an optimal uterine environment that would increase embryonic survival during pig gestation. © 2011 Balcells et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Estelle J.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Estelle J.,Agro ParisTech | Estelle J.,French Atomic Energy Commission | Alves E.,INIA | Pena R.N.,Genetica i Millora Animal
BMC Genomics | Year: 2013

Background: In pigs, adipose tissue is one of the principal organs involved in the regulation of lipid metabolism. It is particularly involved in the overall fatty acid synthesis with consequences in other lipid-target organs such as muscles and the liver. With this in mind, we have used massive, parallel high-throughput sequencing technologies to characterize the porcine adipose tissue transcriptome architecture in six Iberian x Landrace crossbred pigs showing extreme phenotypes for intramuscular fatty acid composition (three per group). Results: High-throughput RNA sequencing was used to generate a whole characterization of adipose tissue (backfat) transcriptome. A total of 4,130 putative unannotated protein-coding sequences were identified in the 20% of reads which mapped in intergenic regions. Furthermore, 36% of the unmapped reads were represented by interspersed repeats, SINEs being the most abundant elements. Differential expression analyses identified 396 candidate genes among divergent animals for intramuscular fatty acid composition. Sixty-two percent of these genes (247/396) presented higher expression in the group of pigs with higher content of intramuscular SFA and MUFA, while the remaining 149 showed higher expression in the group with higher content of PUFA. Pathway analysis related these genes to biological functions and canonical pathways controlling lipid and fatty acid metabolisms. In concordance with the phenotypic classification of animals, the major metabolic pathway differentially modulated between groups was de novo lipogenesis, the group with more PUFA being the one that showed lower expression of lipogenic genes. Conclusions: These results will help in the identification of genetic variants at loci that affect fatty acid composition traits. The implications of these results range from the improvement of porcine meat quality traits to the application of the pig as an animal model of human metabolic diseases. © 2013 Corominas et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Ibanez-Escriche N.,Genetica i Millora Animal | Gonzalez-Recio O.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacion
Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2011

The aim of this work was to review the main challenges and pitfalls of the implementation of genomic selection in the breeding programs of different livestock species. Genomic selection is now one of the main challenges in animal breeding and genetics. Its application could considerably increase the genetic gain in traits of interest. However, the success of its practical implementation depends on the selection scheme characteristics, and these must be studied for each particular case. In dairy cattle, especially in Holsteins, genomic selection is a reality. However, in other livestock species (beef cattle, small ruminants, monogastrics and fish) genomic selection has mainly been used experimentally. The main limitation for its implementation in the mentioned livestock species is the high genotyping costs compared to the low selection value of the candidate. Nevertheless, nowadays the possibility of using single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chips of low density to make genomic selection applications economically feasible is under study. Economic studies may optimize the benefits of genomic selection (GS) to include new traits in the breeding goals. It is evident that genomic selection offers great potential; however, a suitable genotyping strategy and recording system for each case is needed in order to properly exploit it.

Ramayo-Caldas Y.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Castello A.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Pena R.N.,Genetica i Millora Animal | Pena R.N.,University of Lleida | And 6 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2010

Background: Recent studies in pigs have detected copy number variants (CNVs) using the Comparative Genomic Hybridization technique in arrays designed to cover specific porcine chromosomes. The goal of this study was to identify CNV regions (CNVRs) in swine species based on whole genome SNP genotyping chips.Results: We used predictions from three different programs (cnvPartition, PennCNV and GADA) to analyze data from the Porcine SNP60 BeadChip. A total of 49 CNVRs were identified in 55 animals from an Iberian x Landrace cross (IBMAP) according to three criteria: detected in at least two animals, contained three or more consecutive SNPs and recalled by at least two programs. Mendelian inheritance of CNVRs was confirmed in animals belonging to several generations of the IBMAP cross. Subsequently, a segregation analysis of these CNVRs was performed in 372 additional animals from the IBMAP cross and its distribution was studied in 133 unrelated pig samples from different geographical origins. Five out of seven analyzed CNVRs were validated by real time quantitative PCR, some of which coincide with well known examples of CNVs conserved across mammalian species.Conclusions: Our results illustrate the usefulness of Porcine SNP60 BeadChip to detect CNVRs and show that structural variants can not be neglected when studying the genetic variability in this species. © 2010 Ramayo-Caldas et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Davoli R.,University of Bologna | Braglia S.,University of Bologna | Russo V.,University of Bologna | Varona L.,Genetica i Millora Animal | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics | Year: 2011

In livestock, skeletal muscle is a tissue of major economic importance for meat production and muscle mass is largely determined during the prenatal period by the number and the size of muscle fibres. The understanding of gene expression changes during prenatal pig muscle development is still limited. In this study, genes identified as differentially expressed in a previous microarray research and chosen for the function of the coded protein as putative candidate involved in myogenesis were considered to analyse their expression profile during foetal growth of Duroc and Pietrain pigs. The eleven genes were considered by real-time PCR for a time-course evaluation of the transcription level at six stages of prenatal longissimus dorsi development. The results suggest that the most relevant variations in mRNA levels of the analysed genes seem to follow temporal waves of gene expression. Significant changes of transcription were observed at 21-35 and 63-91 days, the two main phases of skeletal muscle development. During the early phases of Pietrain embryos' development, 10 of the 11 genes showed an induction. In Duroc embryos, a second phase of gene up-regulation can be identified in the phase 63-77 days. These results provide new data on developmental changes of expression profile of 11 genes involved in different functional pathways related to prenatal myogenic processes in Duroc and Pietrain pigs. © 2010 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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