Send to

Choose Destination
J Anim Sci. 2009 Feb;87(2):477-83. doi: 10.2527/jas.2008-0936. Epub 2008 Oct 10.

Genetic relationships of body composition, serum leptin, and age at puberty in gilts.

Author information

USDA, ARS, US Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE 68933, USA.


Leptin produced by adipocytes acts through leptin receptors in the hypothalamus to control appetite and food intake and thus communicates information about degree of fatness. It is thought that a degree of body fat is required for initiation of puberty and maintenance of reproductive function in mammals. The objective of this study was to determine whether polymorphisms in the leptin (LEP), leptin receptor (LEPR), paired box 5 (PAX5), aldo-keto reductase (AKR), and pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) genes were associated with age, leptin concentration, backfat as an indicator of body condition, or BW at puberty in 3 lines of gilts and to characterize genetic relationships among these traits. The first 2 lines, born in 2001, were formed by crossing maternal White Cross (Yorkshire x Maternal Landrace) gilts to Duroc (n = 210) or (lean) Landrace (n = 207) boars. The remaining line (n = 507), born in 2002, was formed by crossing progeny of the Duroc- and Landrace-sired lines. At first estrus, age, BW (BWP), and backfat (BFP) at puberty were recorded and blood was collected for leptin assays. Nine SNP were detected in candidate genes/regions: 1 in LEP, 3 in LEPR, 1 in PAX5, 2 in AKR, and 2 in POMC. Animals were genotyped for each of the SNP; genotypes were validated using GenoProb. The association model included fixed effects of farrowing group, covariates of SNP genotypic probabilities (from GenoProb), and random additive polygenic effects to account for genetic similarities between animals not explained by SNP. Variance components for polygenic effects and error were estimated using MTDFREML. Leptin concentrations were logarithmically transformed for data analysis. All 4 traits were moderately to highly heritable (0.38 to 0.48). Age and leptin at puberty had a significant (P < 0.01) genetic correlation at -0.63 +/- 0.097, and the genetic correlation between BWP and age at puberty was 0.65 +/- 0.083 (P < 0.01). Significant additive associations (a; P < 0.05) were detected at PAX5 for age at puberty (a = 3.2 d) and for BFP (a = 0.61 mm). One SNP in LEPR was associated with leptin concentration (a = 0.31 log units; P < 0.05). The associations from PAX5 correspond to a QTL peak for age at puberty detected on SSC1. Although not necessarily the causative mutation, this result implies that a QTL that can decrease age at puberty without increasing BFP and BWP at puberty may exist in this region in commercial pigs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center