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Anim Genet. 2013 Feb;44(1):34-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2012.02366.x. Epub 2012 May 2.

Genome-wide association studies for hematological traits in swine.

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Key Laboratory of Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, Ministry of Agriculture, College of Animal Science and Technology, China.


Improving immune capacity may increase the profitability of animal production if it enables animals to better cope with infections. Hematological traits play pivotal roles in animal immune capacity and disease resistance. Thus far, few studies have been conducted using a high-density swine SNP chip panel to unravel the genetic mechanism of the immune capability in domestic animals. In this study, using mixed model-based single-locus regression analyses, we carried out genome-wide association studies, using the Porcine SNP60 BeadChip, for immune responses in piglets for 18 hematological traits (seven leukocyte traits, seven erythrocyte traits, and four platelet traits) after being immunized with classical swine fever vaccine. After adjusting for multiple testing based on permutations, 10, 24, and 77 chromosome-wise significant SNPs were identified for the leukocyte traits, erythrocyte traits, and platelet traits respectively, of which 10 reached genome-wise significance level. Among the 53 SNPs for mean platelet volume, 29 are located in a linkage disequilibrium block between 32.77 and 40.59 Mb on SSC6. Four genes of interest are located within the block, providing genetic evidence that this genomic segment may be considered a candidate region relevant to the platelet traits. Other candidate genes of interest for red blood cell, hemoglobin, and red blood cell volume distribution width also have been found near the significant SNPs. Our genome-wide association study provides a list of significant SNPs and candidate genes that offer valuable information for future dissection of molecular mechanisms regulating hematological traits.

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