Novel insight into the genomic architecture of feed and nitrogen efficiency measured by residual energy intake and nitrogen excretion in growing pigs

M Shirali*, C-A Duthie, A Doeschl-Wilson, Pieter W. Knap, E Kanis, J.A.M. Van Arendonk, R Roehe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background
Improvement of feed efficiency in pigs is of great economical and environmental interest and contributes to use limited resources efficiently to feed the world population. Genome scans for feed efficiency traits are of importance to reveal the underlying biological causes and increase the rate of genetic gain. The aim of this study was to determine the genomic architecture of feed efficiency measured by residual energy intake (REI), in association with production, feed conversion ratio (FCR) and nitrogen excretion traits through the identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) at different stages of growth using a three generation full-sib design population which originated from a cross between Pietrain and a commercial dam line.
Results
Six novel QTL for REI were detected explaining 2.7-6.1% of the phenotypic variance in REI. At growth from 60–90 kg body weight (BW), a QTL with a significant dominance effect was identified for REI on SSC14, at a similar location to the QTL for feed intake and nitrogen excretion traits. At growth from 90–120 kg BW, three QTL for REI were detected on SSC2, SSC4 and SSC7 with significant additive, imprinting and additive effects, respectively. These QTL (except for the imprinted QTL) were positionally overlapping with QTL for FCR and nitrogen excretion traits. During final growth (120–140 kg BW), a further QTL for REI was identified on SSC8 with significant additive effect, which overlapped with QTL for nitrogen excretion. During entire analysed growth (60–140 kg BW), a novel additive QTL for REI on SSC4 was observed, with no overlapping with QTL for any other traits considered.
Conclusions
The occurrence of only one overlapping QTL of REI with feed intake suggests that only a small proportion of the variance in REI was explained by change in feed intake, whereas four overlapping QTL of REI with those of nitrogen excretion traits suggests that mostly underlying factors of feed utilisation such as metabolism and protein turnover were the reason for change in REI. Different QTL for REI were identified at different growth stages, indicating that different genes are responsible for efficiency in feed utilisation at different stages of growth.
Original languageEnglish
Article number121
JournalBMC Genetics
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 20 Dec 2013

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