Candidate gene expression affects intramuscular fat content and fatty acid composition in pigs
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The objective of this study was to correlate the expression pattern of candidate genes with the intramuscular fat (IMF) content and fatty acid composition of the Longissimus dorsi muscle of Duroc × Shanzhu commercial crossbred pigs. Animals of both sexes were slaughtered at a body weight of about 90 kg. The IMF content and fatty acid composition of the Longissimus dorsi muscle were measured and correlated with candidate genes mRNA expression (AdPLA, ADRB3, LEPR, MC4R, PPARγ, PPARα, LPL, PEPCK, and SCD). Females presented higher IMF content (p < 0.05) than males. The total saturated fatty acid (SFA) in males was greater (p < 0.01), whereas the total monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) (p < 0.01) and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) (p < 0.05) were lower than in females. The expressions of AdPLA, MC4R, PEPCK, and SCD correlated with the IMF content (p < 0.05). AdPLA showed a positive association with MUFA and a negative association with SFA (p < 0.05). LEPR and MC4R were both positively and significantly associated with C18:3 and C20:0 (p < 0.05). PPARα and PPARγ were negatively correlated with SFA, and PPARγ was positively associated with MUFA (p < 0.05). LPL was positively associated with MUFA and negatively associated with SFA (p < 0.05). PEPCK was negatively correlated with PUFA (p < 0.05). SCD was positively associated with MUFA (p < 0.05). The revealed correlations may confirm that these candidate genes are important for fat deposition and fatty acid composition in pigs, and the evaluation and use of these genes may be useful for improving porcine meat quality.
KeywordsFatty acid IMF Longissimus muscle Pig Real-time quantitative PCR
This study was supported by the Jiangsu Province Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. BK2009402) and by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (Project No. 164320H106).
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