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J Anim Breed Genet. 2009 Jun;126(3):228-36. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0388.2008.00770.x.

An evaluation of four candidate genes for use in selection programmes aimed at increased intramuscular fat in Duroc swine.

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  • 1National Swine Registry, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.


A sufficient level of intramuscular fat (IMF) is needed to enhance consumer acceptance of pork products, and is currently receiving greater attention within swine genetic improvement programmes. An examination of previously described and novel genetic variants within candidate genes for IMF deposition was performed to evaluate potential use of genetic markers in marker-assisted selection (MAS). Biological candidate genes implicated to play a role in adipogenesis were investigated within two different lines of purebred Duroc pigs. These included MC4R, FABP3, DLK1, and TCF7L2. Significant variation in IMF within the control line was described by the MC4R genotype and a novel BsrfI single nucleotide polymorphism within the FABP3 gene. Genetic markers for DLK1 and TCF7L2 evaluated in this population are not currently recommended for selection in Duroc swine. Existence of MC4R and FABP3 mutations may be useful markers in MAS aimed at IMF improvement, provided that gene effects are segregating and the presence of an association is detected within the population. However, additional work to confirm the use of the investigated genetic markers in selection programmes is needed.

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