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See detailIndirect effect of IGF2 intron3 g.3072G>A mutation on prolificacy in sows.
Stinckens, A.; Mathur, P.; Janssens, S. et al

in Animal Genetics (2010), 41(5), 493-8

A QTL located in the paternally expressed insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) gene is known to increase muscle growth and reduce fat deposition in pigs. This makes the QTL in IGF2 a good marker for use in ... [more ▼]

A QTL located in the paternally expressed insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) gene is known to increase muscle growth and reduce fat deposition in pigs. This makes the QTL in IGF2 a good marker for use in pig breeding programmes. However, care has to be taken as it is postulated that increased leanness and lowered fat deposition may have a negative effect on the prolificacy and longevity of sows. Selection of sire and dam lines for different alleles of the mutation in the paternally imprinted IGF2 gene could actually provide a solution to this problem. Therefore, in this study, the effect of the IGF2 QTL on prolificacy-related traits in sows was investigated. It was found that the paternal IGF2 wild-type allele was associated with higher reproduction performance in the sow. Moreover, it was also examined whether the difference in prolificacy in sows could be a consequence of differential IGF2 expression in the ovarian follicles of the sow or whether it is mainly a secondary effect caused by differences in fatness traits. Therefore, IGF2 expression was measured in follicles of different sizes from sows with different genotypes for the paternal IGF2 allele. It was observed that, however, while the size of the follicles was associated with follicular IGF2 expression level, the IGF2 genotype was not. It could be concluded that the difference in prolificacy of sows with a different paternal IGF2 genotype could be a secondary effect, resulting from differences in fat deposition. [less ▲]

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See detailThe broiler breeder paradox: ethical, genetic and physiological perspectives, and suggestions for solutions.
Decuypere, E.; Bruggeman, V.; Everaert, Nadia ULg et al

in British poultry science (2010), 51(5), 569-79

1. Due to intensive selection, broiler chickens became the most efficient meat-producing animals because of their fast growth, supported by a virtually unlimited voluntary feed intake. These ... [more ▼]

1. Due to intensive selection, broiler chickens became the most efficient meat-producing animals because of their fast growth, supported by a virtually unlimited voluntary feed intake. These characteristics cause many problems in the management of broiler breeder hens because of the negative correlation between muscle growth and reproduction effectiveness. 2. This problem, namely the fast muscle growth versus reproduction health paradox, induces a second paradox, acceptable reproduction and health versus hunger stress and impaired welfare, because broiler breeder hens require dedicated programmes of feed restriction (1) to maximise egg and chick production and (2) to avoid metabolic disorders and mortality in broiler breeders. 3. Given that poultry selection is a global large-scale business and chickens are a prolific species, improvement in profit can only be obtained by selecting on feed conversion and/or for higher breast meat percentage, which will intensify the broiler-breeder paradox. 4. New feeding strategies are being studied, but it is questionable if the paradox can be solved by management tools alone. Because breeding and selection are long-term processes, involving animals, farmers, consumers, industry, environment etc., a more sustainable breeding goal needs to be determined by a multidisciplinary approach and an open debate between several actors in the discussion. 5. Using dwarf broiler breeder hens could be one alternative, because dwarf hens combine relatively good reproductive fitness with ad libitum feeding. Another possibility is to accept lower broiler productivity by assigning economic values to welfare and including integrity traits in an extended breeding goal. [less ▲]

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See detailMulti-trait animal model estimation of genetic parameters for linear type and gait traits in the Belgian warmblood horse
Rustin, M.; Janssens, S.; Buys, N. et al

in Journal of Animal Breeding & Genetics (2009), 126(5), 378--386

Summary Genetic parameters for the height at withers, 27 linear type and six linear gait traits were estimated for the Belgian warmblood horse. Observations on 987 mares, mostly 3 years old, were analysed ... [more ▼]

Summary Genetic parameters for the height at withers, 27 linear type and six linear gait traits were estimated for the Belgian warmblood horse. Observations on 987 mares, mostly 3 years old, were analysed using a multi-trait animal model. The statistical model included appraiser, age and location (date × place of appraisal) as fixed effects. Genetic parameters were estimated using a canonical transformation and an expectation-maximization restricted maximum likelihood algorithm with an additional deceleration step. Estimates of heritability for the 33 linear traits were between 0.15 and 0.55. Heritability of the height at withers was 0.34 ± 0.06. Estimated genetic correlations ranged from −0.60 to 0.98 with an average SE of 0.10. The highest positive correlations were found among traits of walk and among traits of trot. Volume and the quality of legs were the most negatively correlated. Estimated genetic parameters indicated that the linear scoring system is a valuable tool to assess conformation. The full (co)variance matrix is now available for breeding value estimation to support selection for conformation and gaits. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of the complete porcine MSTN gene and expression levels in pig breeds differing in muscularity.
Stinckens, A.; Luyten, T.; Bijttebier, J. et al

in Animal Genetics (2008), 39(6), 586-96

Myostatin (MSTN), a transforming growth factor beta superfamily member, is an essential factor for the growth and development of muscle mass. The protein functions as a negative regulator of muscle growth ... [more ▼]

Myostatin (MSTN), a transforming growth factor beta superfamily member, is an essential factor for the growth and development of muscle mass. The protein functions as a negative regulator of muscle growth and is related to the so-called double-muscling phenotype in cattle, where a series of mutations renders the gene inactive. One particular breed of pigs, the Belgian Pietrain, also shows a heavily muscled phenotype. The similarity of muscular phenotypes between the double-muscled cattle and Pietrain pigs indicated that MSTN may be a candidate gene for muscular hypertrophy in pigs. In this study, we sequenced and analysed the complete MSTN gene from 45 pigs of five different breeds, including the heavily muscled Pietrain breed at one extreme and the Meishan and Wild boar breeds at the other extreme. In total, 7626 bp of the porcine MSTN gene were sequenced, including the 5' and 3' UTR. Fifteen polymorphic loci were found, three of which were located in the promoter region, five in intron 1 and seven in intron 2. Most mutations were found when comparing the obtained MSTN sequence with porcine MSTN sequences already published. However, one polymorphism located at position 447 of the porcine MSTN promoter had a very high allele frequency in the Pietrain pig breed and disrupted a putative myocyte enhancer factor 3 binding site. Real-time PCR using Sybr Green showed that this mutation was associated with expression levels of the MSTN gene in m. longissimus dorsi at an age of 4 weeks. [less ▲]

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See detailThe RYR1 g.1843C>T mutation is associated with the effect of the IGF2 intron3-g.3072G>A mutation on muscle hypertrophy.
Stinckens, A.; Van den Maagdenberg, K.; Luyten, T. et al

in Animal Genetics (2007), 38(1), 67-71

Muscle growth is a complex phenomenon regulated by many factors, whereby net growth results from the combined action of synthesis and turnover. In pigs, two quantitative trait nucleotides (QTN) are known ... [more ▼]

Muscle growth is a complex phenomenon regulated by many factors, whereby net growth results from the combined action of synthesis and turnover. In pigs, two quantitative trait nucleotides (QTN) are known to have an important influence on muscle growth and fat deposition: one QTN is located in the ryanodine receptor 1 (RYR1) gene (RYR1 g.1843C>T) and the other, a paternally expressed QTN, is in the insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) gene (IGF2 intron3-g.3072G>A). The mutation in IGF2 abrogates in vitro interaction with a repressor, which leads to a threefold increase of IGF2 expression in post-natal muscle. The family of the calpains, a family of Ca(2+)-sensitive muscle endopeptidases, and their specific inhibitor calpastatin play an important role in post-natal protein degradation, also influencing muscle and carcass traits. This study investigated the possible interactions between the genotypes of the RYR1 and IGF2 QTN on IGF2 expression. Samples were taken from several muscles and from pigs at several ages, and messenger RNA expression levels were measured using a real-time quantification assay. IGF2 expression in m. longissimus dorsi of animals with mutations in both IGF2 and RYR1 was significantly lower than in animals that inherited the IGF2 mutation but were homozygous wildtype for RYR1. [less ▲]

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See detailResults of a whole-genome quantitative trait locus scan for growth, carcass composition and meat quality in a porcine four-way cross
Harmegnies, N.; Davin, Fabienne ULg; De Smet, S. et al

in Animal Genetics (2006), 37(6), 543-553

A whole-genome quantitative trait locus (QTL) scan for 31 phenotypes related to growth, carcass composition and meat quality was conducted using 1187 progeny of a commercial four-way cross. Animals were ... [more ▼]

A whole-genome quantitative trait locus (QTL) scan for 31 phenotypes related to growth, carcass composition and meat quality was conducted using 1187 progeny of a commercial four-way cross. Animals were genotyped for 198 microsatellite markers that spanned the entire porcine genome. QTL analysis was conducted to extract information from paternal and maternal meioses separately using a rank-based nonparametric approach for half-sib designs. Nine QTL exceeded genome-wide significance: one QTL affecting growth (average daily gain on SSC1), two QTL influencing carcass composition (fatness on SSC3 and muscle mass on SSC15) and six QTL influencing meat quality (tenderness on SSC4 and SSC14; colour on SSC5, SSC6 and SSCX; and conductivity on SSC16). All but one of these coincided with previously reported QTL. In addition, we present evidence for 78 suggestive QTL with a combined false discovery rate of 40%. [less ▲]

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See detailMeasuring the extent of linkage disequilibrium in commercial pig populations
Harmegnies, N.; Farnir, Frédéric ULg; DAVIN, Fabienne ULg et al

in Animal Genetics (2006), 37(3), 225-231

To evaluate the extent of linkage disequilibrium in domestic pigs, we genotyped 33 and 44 unrelated individuals from two commercial populations for 29 and five microsatellite markers located on ... [more ▼]

To evaluate the extent of linkage disequilibrium in domestic pigs, we genotyped 33 and 44 unrelated individuals from two commercial populations for 29 and five microsatellite markers located on chromosomes 15 and 2 respectively. A high proportion of marker pairs up to 40 cM apart exhibited significant linkage disequilibrium in both populations. Pair-wise r(2) values averaged between 0.15 and 0.50 (depending on chromosome and population) for markers < 1 cM apart and declined to values of 0.05 for more distant syntenic markers. Our results suggest that both populations underwent a bottleneck approximately 20 generations ago, which reduced the effective population size from thousands to < 200 animals. [less ▲]

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See detailResults of a whole-genome quantitative trait locus scan for growth, carcass composition and meat quality in a porcine four-way cross.
Harmegnies, N.; DAVIN, Fabienne ULg; DE SMET, Samantha ULg et al

in Animal Genetics (2006), 37(6), 543-53

A whole-genome quantitative trait locus (QTL) scan for 31 phenotypes related to growth, carcass composition and meat quality was conducted using 1187 progeny of a commercial four-way cross. Animals were ... [more ▼]

A whole-genome quantitative trait locus (QTL) scan for 31 phenotypes related to growth, carcass composition and meat quality was conducted using 1187 progeny of a commercial four-way cross. Animals were genotyped for 198 microsatellite markers that spanned the entire porcine genome. QTL analysis was conducted to extract information from paternal and maternal meioses separately using a rank-based nonparametric approach for half-sib designs. Nine QTL exceeded genome-wide significance: one QTL affecting growth (average daily gain on SSC1), two QTL influencing carcass composition (fatness on SSC3 and muscle mass on SSC15) and six QTL influencing meat quality (tenderness on SSC4 and SSC14; colour on SSC5, SSC6 and SSCX; and conductivity on SSC16). All but one of these coincided with previously reported QTL. In addition, we present evidence for 78 suggestive QTL with a combined false discovery rate of 40%. [less ▲]

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See detailA regulatory mutation in IGF2 causes a major QTL effect on muscle growth in the pig
Van Laere, Anne-Sophie ULg; Nguyen, Minh Ngoc ULg; Braunschweig, M. et al

in Nature (2003), 425(6960), 832-836

Most traits and disorders have a multifactorial background indicating that they are controlled by environmental factors as well as an unknown number of quantitative trait loci (QTLs)(1,2). The ... [more ▼]

Most traits and disorders have a multifactorial background indicating that they are controlled by environmental factors as well as an unknown number of quantitative trait loci (QTLs)(1,2). The identification of mutations underlying QTLs is a challenge because each locus explains only a fraction of the phenotypic variation(3,4). A paternally expressed QTL affecting muscle growth, fat deposition and size of the heart in pigs maps to the IGF2 (insulin-like growth factor 2) region(5,6). Here we show that this QTL is caused by a nucleotide substitution in intron 3 of IGF2. The mutation occurs in an evolutionarily conserved CpG island that is hypomethylated in skeletal muscle. The mutation abrogates in vitro interaction with a nuclear factor, probably a repressor, and pigs inheriting the mutation from their sire have a threefold increase in IGF2 messenger RNA expression in postnatal muscle. Our study establishes a causal relationship between a single-base-pair substitution in a non-coding region and a QTL effect. The result supports the long-held view that regulatory mutations are important for controlling phenotypic variation(7). [less ▲]

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See detailHaplotype sharing refines the location of an imprinted quantitative trait locus with major effect on muscle mass to a 250-kb chromosome segment containing the porcine IGF2 gene
Nezer, C.; Collette, C.; Moreau, L. et al

in Genetics (2003), 165(1), 277-285

We herein describe the fine mapping of an imprinted QTL with major effect on muscle mass that was previously assigned to distal SSC2p in the pig. The proposed approach exploits linkage disequilibrium in ... [more ▼]

We herein describe the fine mapping of an imprinted QTL with major effect on muscle mass that was previously assigned to distal SSC2p in the pig. The proposed approach exploits linkage disequilibrium in combination with QTL genotyping by marker-assisted segregation analysis. By identifying a haplotype shared by all "Q" chromosomes, we map the QTL to an approximately 250-kb chromosome segment containing INS and IGF2 as the only known paternally expressed genes. This considerably reinforces the candidacy of these genes, justifying their detailed analysis. [less ▲]

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