Effect of VNTR polymorphism of the Muc1 gene on litter size of pigs
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An investigation was undertaken to study the association between the variable number of tandem repeats polymorphism of the Muc1 gene and the litter size in pigs. Four different alleles were found in three breeds. The sequence analysis shows that the repetitive region of pig Muc1 gene is an array of 108-bp repeats. A total of 2,430 litter records from 897 sows genotyped at Muc1 gene were used to analyze the total number born (TNB) and number born alive (NBA). The study of the effects on litter size suggests that TNB and NBA of genotype AA are the highest in Large White, and the TNB and NBA of the third to ninth parities are 1.61 and 2.29 piglets per litter higher (P < 0.05) than those of the genotype DD, respectively. In Landrace, TNB and NBA of the genotype AA are 1.68 (P < 0.01) and 1.58 (P < 0.05) piglets per litter higher than those of the BB genotype in the third to ninth parities, but for all parities the TNB of genotype AA were 0.76 piglets per litter (P < 0.05) higher than BB. In Duroc, the TNB and NBA of genotype AA are about 1.5 piglets per litter more than those of DD in the third to ninth parities, though not significantly. The research suggests that the smaller allele tends to have higher litter size. The results indicate that Muc1 gene is significantly associated with litter size in pigs.
KeywordsPig Muc1 VNTR Litter size
The authors greatly appreciate Beijing Huadu Swine Breeding Company, LTD. for providing samples. This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31172176) and National Scientific and Technical Supporting Programs of China (No. 2011BAD28B01).
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