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Evidence for a new major gene influencing meat quality in pigs

  • Pascale Le Roy (a1), J. Naveau (a2), J. M. Elsen (a1) and P. Sellier (a3)

Summary

The present investigation primarily deals with the inheritance of a pigmeat quality trait, the Napole technological yield (RTN), a measure of cooked weight to fresh weight. This trait as well as lean percentage at 100 kg liveweight and fattening length from 20 to 100 kg liveweight were recorded on 3459 offspring from 67 sires and 433 dams, and 3052 offspring from 64 sires and 405 dams in Penshire (P66) and Pen Ar Lan (P77) composite lines respectively. The hypothesis of a major 2-allele locus contributing to RTN was tested by use of a segregation analysis method. Highly significant likelihood ratios (mixed vs. polygenic transmission models) lead us to conclude that a major gene RN exerting an unfavourable effect on RTN is segregating in both lines. Maximum likelihood estimates of the parameters under the hypothesis of mixed (monogenic + polygenic) inheritance show that the difference between the means of the 2 homozygotes amounts to about 3 phenotypic standard deviations of the trait, whereas the complete dominance of RN cannot be rejected. The frequency of RN is about 0·6 in both lines. These results are discussed in connection with the previously reported ‘Hampshire effect’ on pigmeat quality, as the Hampshire breed is a common component of the foundation stock of the 2 composite lines under study.

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References

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