The effect of adipocyte and heart fatty acid-binding protein genes on intramuscular fat and backfat content in Meishan crossbred pigs

F Gerbens, D J de Koning, F L Harders, T H Meuwissen, L L Janss, M A Groenen, J H Veerkamp, J A Van Arendonk, M F te Pas

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Effects of genetic variation in porcine adipocyte and heart fatty acid-binding protein genes, A-FABP and H-FABP, respectively, on intramuscular fat (IMF) content and backfat thickness (BFT) were examined in F2 crossbreds of Meishan and Western pigs. The involvement of each FABP gene in IMF accretion was studied to confirm previous results for Duroc pigs. The F2 crossbred pigs were genotyped for various markers including microsatellite sequences situated within both FABP genes. Linkage analysis assigned the A-FABP and H-FABP genes to marker intervals S0001-S0217 (20 cM) on SSC4 and Sw316-S0003 (16.6 cM) on SSC6, respectively, refining previous chromosomal assignments. Next, the role of both chromosome regions/genes on genetic variation in IMF content and BFT was studied by 1) screening SSC4 and SSC6 for QTL affecting both traits by performing a line-cross analysis and 2) estimation of the effect of individual A-FABP and H-FABP alleles on both traits. In the first analysis, suggestive and chromosome-wise significant evidence for a QTL affecting IMF was detected on SSC6. The H-FABP gene is a candidate gene for this effect because it resides within the large region containing this putative QTL. The second analysis showed a considerable but nonsignificant effect of H-FABP microsatellite alleles on IMF content. Suggestive evidence for a QTL affecting BFT was found on SSC6, but H-FABP was excluded as a candidate gene. In conclusion, present and previous results support involvement of H-FABP gene polymorphisms in IMF accretion independently from BFT in pigs. Therefore, implementation of these polymorphisms in marker-assisted selection to control IMF content independently from BFT may be considered. In contrast to previous findings for Duroc pigs, no evidence was found for an effect of the A-FABP gene on IMF or BFT in this population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-9
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000


  • Adipocytes
  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins
  • Female
  • Male
  • Meat
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Myelin P2 Protein
  • Myocardium
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable
  • Swine


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