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Animal. 2010 Mar;4(3):417-24. doi: 10.1017/S1751731109991248.

Quantitative trait loci analysis of osteochondrosis traits in the elbow joint of pigs.

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1Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Aarhus University, Blichers Allé 20, P.O. BOX 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark.


Osteochondrosis is a growth disorder in the cartilage of young animals and is characterised by lesions found in the cartilage and bone. This study identified quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with six osteochondrosis lesion traits in the elbow joint of finishing pigs. The traits were: thickening of the cartilage, lesion in the subchondral bone, irregular cartilage surface, fissure under the cartilage, an irregular sagittal central groove and depression of the proximal edge of the radius. The study comprised 7172 finishing pigs from crossing 12 Duroc boars with 600 crossbred Landrace × Large White sows and included 462 single nucleotide polymorphism markers. The results showed 18 QTLs exceeding the 5% genome-wide threshold. The QTLs associated with lesions in the medial part of the condylus humeri (assumed to be the four main osteochondrosis traits) were, in most cases, at common locations, whereas the QTLs associated with depression of the proximal edge of the radius in general were on the same chromosomes but at separate locations. The detected QTLs explain a large part of the genetic variation, which is promising for incorporating osteochondrosis into a breeding programme using marker-assisted selection.


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