doi: 10.15389/agrobiology.2019.4.705eng

UDC: 636.4.033:636.082.12:575.113

The equipment of the Center for Biological Resources and Bioengineering of Farm Animals (Ernst Federal Science Center for Animal Husbandry)was used for the study.
Supported financially by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, a unique project number RFMEFI60417X0182



A.A. Belous1, A.A. Sermyagin1, O.V. Kostyunina1, G. Brem2,
N.A. Zinovieva1

1Ernst Federal Science Center for Animal Husbandry, 60, pos. Dubrovitsy, Podolsk District, Moscow Province, 142132 Russia, e-mail,,, (✉ cor-responding author);
2Institut für Tierzucht und Genetik, University of Veterinary Medicine (VMU), Veterinärplatz, A-1210, Vienna, Austria, e-mail

Belous A.A.
Brem G.
Sermyagin A.A.
Zinovieva N.A.
Kostyunina O.V.

Received February 18, 2019


Feed conversion (feed conversion ratio — FCR, kg/kg), calculated as the ratio of the amount of feed intake to the body weight gain, is the most important trait that determines the economic efficiency of pork production. The development of automated feeding stations allows researchers to carry out an accurate individual measurements of feed intake in the group-housed pigs, which became the basis for the integration of the FCR in the breeding programs. The development of high-throughput genotyping methods for tens of thousands of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) made it possible to identify genetic factors associated with economically important animal traits at genome-wide level. Previous studies, performed in different pig breeds have shown the presence in the genome of the pig of multiple QTLs for FCR, while the regions of the genome identified in different studies were only partially overlapped. In this report, we present the genome-wide association studies results in one of the Russian Duroc boar population, which revealed the presence of 30 SNPs that were significantly associated with the feed conversion rate, as well as positional and functional candidate genes whose products are involved in the regulation of proliferation and differentiation various types of cells in lipid hematopoiesis and metabolism. The aim of the present work was to study the genetic factors affecting the feed efficiency in Duroc young boars, phenotyped individually for feed conversion rates and genotyped by ~ 70 thousand single-nucleotide polymorphisms at the genome-wide level. The study was performed on 715 young Duroc boars marked with electronic chips. Individual values of feed intake were recorded using automatic feeding stations MLP-RAP («Schauer Agrotronic AG», Switzerland) and GENSTAR («Cooperl Arc Atlantique», France). Genotyping was performed using a high-density DNA chip GGP Porcine HD (GeneSeek Genomic Profiler platform, Neogene, USA) containing of ~ 70 thousand SNPs. After quality control, 44810 SNPs were selected for genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Average daily gain (ADG) in the studied pigs amounted to 962.04±5.06 g/day, and feed conversion (FCR) was 2.53±0.2 kg/kg. Based on the GWAS analysis, 30 significant (p < 0.00001) SNPs localized at SSC2, SSC3, SSC4, SSC6, SSC7, SSC12 and SSC15 were identified, including three genome-wide significant SNPs, the H3GA0010441 (p < 4.14×10-7), ALGA0119936 (p < 1.03×10-6) on SSC3, and ASGA0028727 (p < 1.17×10-6) on SSC6. At SSC2, SSC6 and SSC15, the SNPs’ blocks, consisting 10 (in the region of 29.0-30.9 cM, Sscrofa genome assembly 10.2), 7 (79.1-80.3 cM) and 3 SNPs (69.3-70.7 cM), respectively, were identified. Annotation of candidate genes localized in close proximity to significant SNPs revealed genes whose products are involved in heterogeneous biological processes, such as regulation of proliferation and differentiation of different cell types, hematopoiesis, lipid metabolism. The additional studies aimed at validation of detected associations in other populations of pigs are necessary. Identification of novel QTLs for feed conversion rate will enhance our understanding of the genomic architecture of this important breeding trait.

Keywords: genome-wide association studies, feed conversion rate, average daily gain, back fat, Duroc boars.



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