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Anim Biotechnol. 2009;20(2):58-70. doi: 10.1080/10495390902800792.

The fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene is associated with intramuscular fat content and growth rate in the pig.

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  • 1Department of Animal Science and Center for Integrated Animal Genomics, Iowa State University, Ames, USA.


The association of the FTO gene with obesity has been implicated in various human populations. The FTO gene is also most likely involved in the regulation of energy balance and feed intake. Here, the FTO gene was studied as a candidate gene for fatness and growth rate traits in pigs. The amino acid sequence of the FTO gene showed high conservation among human, pig, and other important domestic animals. Twelve variants including ten SNPs and two indels were detected, and then five SNPs within different genomic regions were genotyped in the ISU Berkshire x Yorkshire pig resource family. The linkage disequilibrium analyses revealed that most of these FTO variants were not in strong LD with each other. The SNPs c.46-139A > T within intron 1 and a synonymous mutation c.594C > G (Ala198Ala) within exon 3 had significant (P < 0.01) associations with average daily gain on test and total lipid percentage in muscle, respectively. Five major haplotypes were identified and the subsequent association analyses suggested that haplotype 2 (-CTTGG-) was the most favorable for increased growth rate, while haplotype 1 (-CTACG-) was unfavorably associated with intramuscular fatness traits.

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