Evaluation of effects of multiple candidate genes (LEP, LEPR, MC4R, PIK3C3, and VRTN) on production traits in Duroc pigs
We evaluated multiple effects of genetic variations of five candidate loci (LEP, LEPR, MC4R, PIK3C3 and VRTN) on four production traits (average daily weight gain (ADG); backfat thickness (BFT); loin eye muscle area (EMA); and intramuscular fat content (IMF)) in a closed nucleus herd of pure Duroc pigs. Polymorphisms in LEPR, MC4R and PIK3C3 had significant single gene effects on ADG and BFT. The additive genetic variance in ADG and BFT (16.99% and 22.51%, respectively) was explained by genetic effects of these three loci. No correlations were observed between the LEP genotype and production traits in this study. Although we detected marginally epistatic interactions between LEPR and PIK3C3 on the eye muscle area, there were no significant epistatic effects on any traits among all loci pairs. These results suggest that LEPR, MC4R, PIK3C3 and VRTN may independently influence growth rate and fat deposition. Furthermore, the statistical models for predicting the breeding values of each trait had the lowest Akaike's information criterion values when considering the effect of the MC4R, LEPR, PIK3C3 and VRTN genotype simultaneously. These results suggest that LEPR, MC4R, PIK3C3 and VRTN are useful markers for accurately predicting breeding values in Duroc pigs.
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