Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Anim Sci. 2001 Oct;79(10):2565-70.

Candidate gene markers for litter size in different German pig lines.

Author information

Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics, School of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany.


Three diallelic RFLP markers at candidate gene loci for litter size, the estrogen receptor (ESR) gene, the prolactin receptor (PRLR) gene, and the retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) gene, were evaluated for their association with the number of piglets born alive in different German pig lines. Genotyping was performed on boars and sows belonging to three different genetic groups from a single farm. Information on 8,336 litter records from 2,159 sows (German Landrace, n = 1,672; Duroc, n = 214; and a synthetic line, n = 273) was used in the analyses with respect to litter size. Growth performance traits were only analyzed for the synthetic line. The ESR locus showed no polymorphism in the tested boars of the German Landrace and Duroc lines. In the synthetic line, the frequency for the A allele was 0.90 and no homozygous BB animal was detected. No significant associations of ESR alleles with number of piglets born alive, backfat thickness, or average daily gain were observed. A new PCR-RFLP was developed for testing the PRLR polymorphism. The frequencies of PRLR allele A were 0.40 in the German Landrace, 0.49 in the synthetic, and 0.82 in the Duroc line. In the Duroc line, a small additive effect of the allele B on litter size was observed. The allelic substitution effect was 0.71 piglets born alive across all parities (P = 0.05). No significant associations of the PRLR locus with litter and growth performance traits were detected. The frequencies of RBP4 allele A ranged from 0.62 in the synthetic line to 0.67 in the German Landrace to 0.85 in the Duroc line. For the genotyped sows of the synthetic line, there was no indication of a favorable effect of the A allele with respect to litter size. Results of this study demonstrate that allele effects differ between lines or populations. This may be due to possible different linkage phases between the marker alleles and the causal mutations in the different lines. The results may also be explained by many minor genes affecting litter size. A selection strategy should be designed for each line separately and should always consider possible pleiotropic effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Science Societies
    Loading ...
    Support Center