Revealing New Candidate Genes for Teat Number Relevant Traits in Duroc Pigs Using Genome-Wide Association Studies

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  • Yang Li
  • ,
  • Lei Pu
  • ,
  • Liangyu Shi
  • ,
  • Hongding Gao
  • Pengfei Zhang
  • ,
  • Lixian Wang
  • ,
  • Fuping Zhao
The number of teats is related to the nursing ability of sows. In the present study, we conducted genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for traits related to teat number in Duroc pig population. Two mixed models, one for counted and another for binary phenotypic traits, were employed to analyze seven traits: the right (RTN), left (LTN), and total (TTN) teat numbers; maximum teat number on a side (MAX); left minus right side teat number (LR); the absolute value of LR (ALR); and the presence of symmetry between left and right teat numbers (SLR). We identified 11, 1, 4, 13, and 9 significant SNPs associated with traits RTN, LTN, MAX, TTN, and SLR, respectively. One significant SNP (MARC0038565) was found to be simultaneous associated with RTN, LTN, MAX and TTN. Two annotated genes (VRTN and SYNDIG1L) were located in genomic region around this SNP. Three significant SNPs were shown to be associated with TTN, RTN and MAX traits. Seven significant SNPs were simultaneously detected in two traits of TTN and RTN. Other two SNPs were only identified in TTN. These 13 SNPs were clustered in the genomic region between 96.10—98.09 Mb on chromosome 7. Moreover, nine significant SNPs were shown to be significantly associated with SLR. In total, four and 22 SNPs surpassed genome-wide significance and suggestive significance levels, respectively. Among candidate genes annotated, eight genes have documented association with the teat number relevant traits. Out of them, DPF3 genes on Sus scrofa chromosome (SSC) 7 and the NRP1 gene on SSC 10 were new candidate genes identified in this study. Our findings demonstrate the genetic mechanism of teat number relevant traits and provide a reference to further improve reproductive performances in practical pig breeding programs.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2021

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