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J Anim Sci. 2008 Dec;86(12):3290-9. doi: 10.2527/jas.2008-1034. Epub 2008 Jul 18.

A quantitative trait locus genome scan for porcine muscle fiber traits reveals overdominance and epistasis.

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  • 1Departament de Ciència Animal i dels Aliments, Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain.


Muscle histochemical characteristics are decisive determinants of meat quality. The relative percentage and diameters of the different muscular fiber types influence crucial aspects of meat such as color, tenderness, and ultimate pH. Despite its relevance, however, the information on muscle fiber genetic architecture is scant, because histochemical muscle characterization is a laborious task. Here we report a complete QTL scan of muscle fiber traits in 160 animals from a F(2) cross between Iberian and Landrace pigs using 139 markers. We identified 20 genome regions distributed along 15 porcine chromosomes (SSC1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and X) with direct and(or) epistatic effects. Epistasis was frequent and some interactions were highly significant. Chromosomes 10 and 11 seemed to behave as hubs; they harbored 2 individual QTL, but also 6 epistatic regions. Numerous individual QTL effects had cryptic alleles, with opposite effects to phenotypic pure breed differences. Many of the QTL identified here coincided with previous reports for these traits in the literature, and there was overlapping with potential candidate genes and previously reported meat quality QTL.

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