, Volume 14, Issue 9, pp 650-656

Detection of QTL affecting fatty acid composition in the pig

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Abstract

We present a QTL genome scan for fatty acid composition in pigs. An F2 cross between Iberian × Landrace pigs and a regression approach fitting the carcass weight as a covariate for QTL identification was used. Chromosomes (Chrs) 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 showed highly significant effects. The Chr 4 QTL influenced the linoleic content and both the fatty acid double-bond index and peroxidability index. In Chr 6 we found significant associations with the double-bond index and the unsaturated index of fatty acids. Chr 8 showed clear effects on the percentages of palmitic and palmitoleic fatty acids as well as the average chain length of fatty acids. In Chr 10 we detected a significant QTL for the percentage of myristic fatty acid, with an F value that was slightly above the genomewide threshold. The percentage of linolenic fatty acid was affected by a region on Chr 12. A nearly significant QTL for the content of gadoleic fatty acid was also detected in Chr 12. We also analyzed the genomic QTL distribution by a regression model that fits the backfat thickness as a covariate. Some of the QTL that were detected in our analysis could not be detected when the data were corrected by backfat thickness. This work shows how critical the selection of a covariate can be in the interpretation of results. This is the first report of a genome scan detection of QTL directly affecting fatty acid composition in pigs.