The Belt mutation in pigs is an allele at the Dominant white (I/KIT) locus
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A white belt is a common coat color phenotype in pigs and is determined by a dominant allele (Be). Here we present the result of a genome scan performed using a Hampshire (Belt)/Pietrain (non-Belt) backcross segregating for the white belt trait. We demonstrate that Belt maps to the centromeric region of pig Chromosome (Chr) 8 harboring the Dominant white (I/KIT) locus. Complete cosegregation between Belt and a single nucleotide polymorphism in the KIT gene was observed. Another potential candidate gene, the endothelin receptor type A gene (EDNRA), was excluded as it was assigned to a different region (SSC8q21) by FISH analysis. We argue that Belt is a regulatory KIT mutation on the basis of comparative data on mouse KIT mutants and our previous sequence analysis of the KIT coding sequence from a Hampshire pig. Quantitative PCR analysis revealed that Belt is not associated with a KIT duplication, as is the case for the Patch and Dominant white alleles. Thus, Belt is a fourth allele at the Dominant white locus, and we suggest that it is denoted I Be .
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