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Anim Genet. 2002 Feb;33(1):19-25.

Phylogenetic relationships of Asian and European pig breeds determined by mitochondrial DNA D-loop sequence polymorphism.

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Department of Animal Biotechnology, Cheju National University, Cheju, South Korea.


Phylogenetic relationships among Asian and European pig breeds were assessed using 1036 bp of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) D-loop sequences. An unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) tree was constructed on the basis of maximum likelihood distances using sequences determined for three Cheju (Korea), 11 Chinese, one Westran (Australian feral origin) and two European pigs (Berkshire and Welsh), and also published sequences for four Japanese (including two Wild Boars), one Yucatan miniature, five European (including Large White, Landrace, Duroc, Swedish and Wild Boar) and two Meishan pigs. The Colombian collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu) sequence was also determined and used as an outgroup. The maximum parsimony with heuristic search method was used to determine bootstrap support values. Asian-type pigs clustered together (bootstrap support 33%), but were separate from European-type pigs that also clustered together (93%). The Westran pig, derived from the feral descendants of pigs inhabiting Kangaroo Island of South Australia, clustered with Asian pigs, demonstrating Asian origin of their mitochondria. Berkshire and Large White clustered with Asian pigs, indicating that Asian pigs were involved in the development of these breeds. Our findings clearly demonstrate that pigs indigenous to China, Korea and Japan are only recently diverged from each other and distinctly different from European-type pigs. European pig breeds consist of pigs with mitochondria of Asian and non-Asian type, some of which were formed from closely related maternal ancestors, if not from a single ancestor.

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