Genome-wide association studies in purebred and crossbred entire male pigs

Hélène Gilbert et al., 66th EAAP, 31 août- 04 septembre 2015, Varsovie, Pologne, session 45 : pigs genetics, visuel d'intervention

A total of 654 purebred Piétrain entire male pigs and 716 crossbred Piétrain × Large White entire male pigs issued from about 70 Piétrain sires were tested in a French test station for production traits (feed intake, feed efficiency, growth rate, carcass composition and meat quality). All were genotyped with the 60K Porcine SNPchip. Genome wide association studies were run using linear mixed models with a genomic kinship matrix to account for relatedness between individuals, and the fixed effect of each SNP was tested separately. In a first step, separate analyses of the two populations showed suggestive results (P<0.0001) for almost all traits in the two populations. For production traits, eight 1-Mb regions affected multiple correlated traits in the purebred pigs, and only one in the crossbred pigs. Only two regions with P<0.0001 were detected in common in purebred and crossbred individuals after correction for the halothane mutation, on SSC1 and SSC2. Breed differences in linkage disequilibrium between markers and causal variants, or different gene effects due to the purebred vs crossbred polygenic background could explain these discrepancies. Genotypes were phased and chromosome breed origins were identified in all progeny. Analyses were thus run to estimate within breed allelic effects in the crossbred population, and combining the two populations. After accounting for differences in allele frequencies in the two populations, only few SNP estimates showed significantly different allelic effects depending on the genetic background. If confirmed in a larger design, this suggests that genes affecting production traits act similarly in purebred and crossbred commercial pigs, as suggested by high genetic correlations between purebred and crossbred pigs for these traits.