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Animal. 2008 Feb;2(2):177-83. doi: 10.1017/S1751731107001085.

Empirical Bayes factor analyses of quantitative trait loci for gestation length in Iberian × Meishan F2 sows.

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1Departament de Ciència Animal i dels Aliments, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona), Spain.


The aim of this study was to investigate chromosomal regions affecting gestation length in sows. An experimental F2 cross between Iberian and Meishan pig breeds was used for this purpose and we genotyped 119 markers covering the 18 porcine autosomal chromosomes. Within this context, we have developed a new empirical Bayes factor (BF) approach to compare between nested models, with and without the quantitative trait loci (QTL) effect, and after including the location of the QTL as an unknown parameter in the model. This empirical BF can be easily calculated from the output of a Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling by averaging conditional densities at the null QTL effects. Linkage analyses were performed in each chromosome using an animal model to account for infinitesimal genetic effects. Initially, three QTL were detected at chromosomes 6, 8 and 11 although, after correcting for multiple testing, only the additive QTL located in cM 110 of chromosome 8 remained. For this QTL, the allelic effect of substitution of the Iberian allele increased gestation length in 0.521 days, with a highest posterior density region at 95% ranged between 0.121 and 0.972 days. Although future studies are necessary to confirm if detected QTL is relevant and segregating in commercial pig populations, a hot-spot on the genetic regulation of gestation length in pigs seems to be located in chromosome 8.


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