Genome-wide association scan and phased haplotype construction for quantitative trait loci affecting boar taint in three pig breeds.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Boar taint is the undesirable smell and taste of pork meat derived from some entire male pigs. The main causes of boar taint are the two compounds androstenone and skatole (3-methyl-indole). The steroid androstenone is a sex pheromone produced in the testis of the boars. Skatole is produced from tryptophan by bacteria in the intestine of the pigs. In many countries pigs are castrated as piglets to avoid boar taint, however, this is undesirable for animal welfare reasons. Genetic variations affecting the level of boar taint have previously been demonstrated in many breeds. In the study presented in this paper, markers and haplotypes, which can be applied to DNA-based selection schemes in order to reduce or eliminate the boar taint problem, are identified. RESULTS: Approximately 30,000 SNPs segregating in 923 boars from three Danish breeds; Duroc, Landrace, and Yorkshire, were used to conduct genome wide association studies of boar taint compounds. At 46 suggestive quantitative trait loci (QTL), 25 haplotypes and three single markers with effects were identified. Furthermore, 40% of the haplotypes mapped to previously identified regions. Haplotypes were also analysed for effects of slaughter weight and meat content. The most promising haplotype was identified on Sus scrofa chromosome 1. The gain in fixed effect of having this haplotype on level of androstenone in Landrace was identified to be high (1.279 ?g/g). In addition, this haplotype explained 16.8% of the phenotypic variation within the trait. The haplotype was identified around the gene CYB5A which is known to have an indirect impact on the amount of androstenone. In addition to CYB5A, the genes SRD5A2, LOC100518755, and CYP21A2 are candidate genes for other haplotypes affecting androstenone, whereas, candidate genes for the indolic compounds were identified to be SULT1A1 and CYP2E1. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the small sample size, a total of 25 haplotypes and three single markers were identified including genomic regions not previously reported. The haplotypes that were analysed showed large effects on trait level. However, little overlap of QTL between breeds was observed.
Project description:Boar taint is an unpleasant odour and flavour of the meat from some uncastrated male pigs primarily caused by elevated levels of androstenone and skatole in adipose tissue. Androstenone is produced in the same biochemical pathway as testosterone and estrogens, which represents a particular challenge when selecting against high levels of androstenone in the breeding programme, without simultaneously decreasing levels of other steroids. Detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with compounds affecting boar taint is important both for gaining a better understanding of the complex regulation of the trait and for the purpose of identifying markers that can be used to improve the gain of breeding. The beneficial SNPs to be used in breeding would have the combinational effects of reducing levels of boar taint without affecting fertility of the animals. The aim of this study was to detect SNPs in boar taint candidate genes and to perform association studies for both single SNPs and haplotypes with levels of boar taint compounds and phenotypes related to reproduction.An association study involving 275 SNPs in 121 genes and compounds related to boar taint and reproduction were carried out in Duroc and Norwegian Landrace boars. Phenotypes investigated were levels of androstenone, skatole and indole in adipose tissue, levels of androstenone, testosterone, estrone sulphate and 17beta-estradiol in plasma, and length of bulbo urethralis gland. The SNPs were genotyped in more than 2800 individuals and several SNPs were found to be significantly (LRT > 5.4) associated with the different phenotypes. Genes with significant SNPs in either of the traits investigated include cytochrome P450 members CYP2E1, CYP21, CYP2D6 and CYP2C49, steroid 5alpha-reductase SRD5A2, nuclear receptor NGFIB, catenin CTNND1, BRCA1 associated protein BAP1 and hyaluronoglucosaminidase HYAL2. Haplotype analysis provided additional evidence for an effect of CYP2E1 on levels of skatole and indole, and for BAP1, HYAL2 and SRD5A2 on levels of androstenone.The findings in this study indicate that polymorphisms in CYP2E1, CYP21, CYP2D6, CYP2C49, NGFIB and CTNND1 might be used to reduce levels of boar taint without affecting levels of testosterone, estrone sulphate, 17beta-estradiol or length of bulbo urethralis gland.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Due to ethical reasons, surgical castration of young male piglets in their first week of life without anesthesia will be banned in Germany from 2021. Breeding against boar taint is already implemented in sire breeds of breeding organizations but in recent years a low demand made this trait economically less important. The objective of this study was to estimate heritabilities and genetic relationships between boar taint compounds androstenone and skatole and maternal/paternal reproduction traits in 4'924 Landrace (LR) and 4'299 Large White (LW) animals from nucleus populations. Additionally, genome wide association analysis (GWAS) was performed per trait and breed to detect SNP marker with possible pleiotropic effects that are associated with boar taint and fertility. RESULTS:Estimated heritabilities (h2) were 0.48 (±0.08) for LR (0.39?±?0.07 for LW) for androstenone and 0.52 (±0.08) for LR (0.32?±?0.07 for LW) for skatole. Heritabilities for reproduction did not differ between breeds except age at first insemination (LR: h2?=?0.27 (±0.05), LW: h2?=?0.34 (±0.05)). Estimates of genetic correlation (rg) between boar taint and fertility were different in LR and LW breeds. In LR an unfavorable rg of 0.31 (±0.15) was observed between androstenone and number of piglets born alive, whereas this rg in LW (-?0.15 (±0.16)) had an opposite sign. A similar breed-specific difference is observed between skatole and sperm count. Within LR, the rg of 0.08 (±0.13) indicates no relationship between the traits, whereas the rg of -?0.37 (±0.14) in LW points to an unfavorable relationship. In LR GWAS identified QTL regions on SSC5 (21.1-22.3?Mb) for androstenone and on SSC6 (5.5-7.5?Mb) and SSC14 (141.1-141.6?Mb) for skatole. For LW, one marker was found on SSC17 at 48.1?Mb for androstenone and one QTL on SSC14 between 140.5?Mb and 141.6?Mb for skatole. CONCLUSION:Knowledge about such genetic correlations could help to balance conventional breeding programs with boar taint in maternal breeds. QTL regions with unfavorable pleiotropic effects on boar taint and fertility could have deleterious consequences in genomic selection programs. Constraining the weighting of these QTL in the genomic selection formulae may be a useful strategy to avoid physiological imbalances.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Boar taint is observed in a high proportion of uncastrated male pigs and is characterized by an unpleasant odor/flavor in cooked meat, primarily caused by elevated levels of androstenone and skatole. Androstenone is a steroid produced in the testis in parallel with biosynthesis of other sex steroids like testosterone and estrogens. This represents a challenge when performing selection against androstenone in breeding programs, without simultaneously decreasing levels of other steroids. The aim of this study was to use high-density genome wide association (GWA) in combination with linkage disequilibrium-linkage analysis (LDLA) to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with boar taint compounds and related sex steroids in commercial Landrace (n = 1,251) and Duroc (n = 918) breeds. RESULTS: Altogether, 14 genome wide significant (GWS) QTL regions for androstenone in subcutaneous fat were obtained from the LDLA study in Landrace and 14 GWS QTL regions in Duroc. LDLA analysis revealed that 7 of these QTL regions, located on SSC 1, 2, 3, 7 and 15, were obtained in both breeds. All 14 GWS androstenone QTLs in Landrace are also affecting the estrogens at chromosome wise significance (CWS) or GWS levels, while in Duroc, 3 of the 14 QTLs affect androstenone without affecting any of the estrogens. For skatole, 10 and 4 QTLs were GWS in the LDLA analysis for Landrace and Duroc respectively, with 4 of these detected in both breeds. The GWS QTLs for skatole obtained by LDLA are located at SSC 1, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13 and 14. CONCLUSION: This is the first report applying the Porcine 60 K SNP array for simultaneous analysis of boar taint compounds and related sex hormones, using both GWA and LDLA approaches. Several QTLs are involved in regulation of androstenone and skatole, and most of the QTLs for androstenone are also affecting the levels of estrogens. Seven QTLs for androstenone were detected in one breed and confirmed in the other, i.e. in an independent sample, although the majority of QTLs are breed specific. Most QTLs for skatole do not negatively affect other sex hormones and should be easier to implement into the breeding scheme.
Project description:Boar taint is an offensive urine or faecal-like odour, affecting the smell and taste of cooked pork from some mature non-castrated male pigs. Androstenone and skatole in fat are the molecules responsible. In most pig production systems, males, which are not required for breeding, are castrated shortly after birth to reduce the risk of boar taint. There is evidence for genetic variation in the predisposition to boar taint.A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed to identify loci with effects on boar taint. Five hundred Danish Landrace boars with high levels of skatole in fat (>0.3 μg/g), were each matched with a litter mate with low levels of skatole and measured for androstenone. DNA from these 1,000 non-castrated boars was genotyped using the Illumina PorcineSNP60 Beadchip. After quality control, tests for SNPs associated with boar taint were performed on 938 phenotyped individuals and 44,648 SNPs. Empirical significance thresholds were set by permutation (100,000). For androstenone, a 'regional heritability approach' combining information from multiple SNPs was used to estimate the genetic variation attributable to individual autosomes.A highly significant association was found between variation in skatole levels and SNPs within the CYP2E1 gene on chromosome 14 (SSC14), which encodes an enzyme involved in degradation of skatole. Nominal significance was found for effects on skatole associated with 4 other SNPs including a region of SSC6 reported previously. Genome-wide significance was found for an association between SNPs on SSC5 and androstenone levels and nominal significance for associations with SNPs on SSC13 and SSC17. The regional analyses confirmed large effects on SSC5 for androstenone and suggest that SSC5 explains 23% of the genetic variation in androstenone. The autosomal heritability analyses also suggest that there is a large effect associated with androstenone on SSC2, not detected using GWAS.Significant SNP associations were found for skatole on SSC14 and for androstenone on SSC5 in Landrace pigs. The study agrees with evidence that the CYP2E1 gene has effects on skatole breakdown in the liver. Autosomal heritability estimates can uncover clusters of smaller genetic effects that individually do not exceed the threshold for GWAS significance.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Boar taint is an unpleasant odor and flavor of the meat and occurs in a high proportion of uncastrated male pigs. Androstenone, a steroid produced in testis and acting as a sex pheromone regulating reproductive function in female pigs, is one of the main compounds responsible for boar taint. The primary goal of the present investigation was to determine the differential gene expression of selected candidate genes related to levels of androstenone in pigs. RESULTS: Altogether 2560 boars from the Norwegian Landrace and Duroc populations were included in this study. Testicle samples from the 192 boars with most extreme high or low levels of androstenone in fat were used for RNA extraction, and 15 candidate genes were selected and analyzed by real-competitive PCR analysis. The genes Cytochrome P450 c17 (CYP17A1), Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (STAR), Aldo-keto reductase family 1 member C4 (AKR1C4), Short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase family member 4 (DHRS4), Ferritin light polypeptide (FTL), Sulfotransferase family 2A, dehydroepiandrosterone-preferring member 1 (SULT2A1), Cytochrome P450 subfamily XIA polypeptide 1 (CYP11A1), Cytochrome b5 (CYB5A), and 17-beta-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase IV (HSD17B4) were all found to be significantly (P < 0.05) up-regulated in high androstenone boars in both Duroc and Landrace. Furthermore, Cytochrome P450 c19A2 (CYP19A2) was down-regulated and progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1) was up-regulated in high-androstenone Duroc boars only, while CYP21 was significantly down-regulated (2.5) in high-androstenone Landrace only. The genes Nuclear Receptor co-activator 4 (NCOA4), Sphingomyrlin phosphodiesterase 1 (SMPD1) and 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD3B) were not significantly differentially expressed in any breeds. Additionally, association studies were performed for the genes with one or more detected SNPs. Association between SNP and androstenone level was observed in CYB5A only, suggesting cis-regulation of the differential transcription in this gene. CONCLUSION: A large pig material of highly extreme androstenone levels is investigated. The current study contributes to the knowledge about which genes that is differentially expressed regard to the levels of androstenone in pigs. Results in this paper suggest that several genes are important in the regulation of androstenone level in boars and warrant further evaluation of the above mentioned candidate genes, including analyses in different breeds, identification of causal mutations and possible gene interactions.
Project description:Boar taint is an unpleasant smell and taste of pork meat derived from some entire male pigs. The main causes of boar taint are the two compounds androstenone (5?-androst-16-en-3-one) and skatole (3-methylindole). It is crucial to understand the genetic mechanism of boar taint to select pigs for lower androstenone levels and thus reduce boar taint. The aim of the present study was to investigate transcriptome differences in boar testis and liver tissues with divergent androstenone levels using RNA deep sequencing (RNA-Seq). The total number of reads produced for each testis and liver sample ranged from 13,221,550 to 33,206,723 and 12,755,487 to 46,050,468, respectively. In testis samples 46 genes were differentially regulated whereas 25 genes showed differential expression in the liver. The fold change values ranged from -4.68 to 2.90 in testis samples and -2.86 to 3.89 in liver samples. Differentially regulated genes in high androstenone testis and liver samples were enriched in metabolic processes such as lipid metabolism, small molecule biochemistry and molecular transport. This study provides evidence for transcriptome profile and gene polymorphisms of boars with divergent androstenone level using RNA-Seq technology. Digital gene expression analysis identified candidate genes in flavin monooxygenease family, cytochrome P450 family and hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase family. Moreover, polymorphism and association analysis revealed mutation in IRG6, MX1, IFIT2, CYP7A1, FMO5 and KRT18 genes could be potential candidate markers for androstenone levels in boars. Further studies are required for proving the role of candidate genes to be used in genomic selection against boar taint in pig breeding programs.
Project description:Previous studies in the Norwegian pig breeds Landrace and Duroc have revealed a QTL for levels of skatole located in the region 74.7-80.5 Mb on SSC7. Skatole is one of the main components causing boar taint, which gives an undesirable smell and taste to the pig meat when heated. Surgical castration of boars is a common practice to reduce the risk of boar taint, however, a selection for boars genetically predisposed for low levels of taint would help eliminating the need for castration and be advantageous for both economic and welfare reasons. In order to identify the causal mutation(s) for the QTL and/or identify genetic markers for selection purposes we performed a fine mapping of the SSC7 skatole QTL region.A dense set of markers on SSC7 was obtained by whole genome re-sequencing of 24 Norwegian Landrace and 23 Duroc boars. Subsets of 126 and 157 SNPs were used for association analyses in Landrace and Duroc, respectively. Significant single markers associated with skatole spanned a large 4.4 Mb region from 75.9-80.3 Mb in Landrace, with the highest test scores found in a region between the genes NOVA1 and TGM1 (p < 0.001). The same QTL was obtained in Duroc and, although less significant, with associated SNPs spanning a 1.2 Mb region from 78.9-80.1 Mb (p < 0.01). The highest test scores in Duroc were found in genes of the granzyme family (GZMB and GZMH-like) and STXBP6. Haplotypes associated with levels of skatole were identified in Landrace but not in Duroc, and a haplotype block was found to explain 2.3% of the phenotypic variation for skatole. The SNPs in this region were not associated with levels of sex steroids.Fine mapping of a QTL for skatole on SSC7 confirmed associations of this region with skatole levels in pigs. The QTL region was narrowed down to 4.4 Mb in Landrace and haplotypes explaining 2.3% of the phenotypic variance for skatole levels were identified. Results confirmed that sex steroids are not affected by this QTL region, making these markers attractive for selection against boar taint.
Project description:Boar taint is the unpleasant odour of meat derived from non-castrated male pigs, caused by the accumulation of androstenone and skatole in fat. Skatole is a tryptophan metabolite produced by intestinal bacteria in gut and catabolised in liver. Since boar taint affects consumer's preference, the aim of this study was to perform transcriptome profiling in liver of boars with divergent skatole levels in backfat by using RNA-Seq. The total number of reads produced for each liver sample ranged from 11.8 to 39.0 million. Approximately 448 genes were differentially regulated (p-adjusted <0.05). Among them, 383 genes were up-regulated in higher skatole group and 65 were down-regulated (p<0.01, FC>1.5). Differentially regulated genes in the high skatole liver samples were enriched in metabolic processes such as small molecule biochemistry, protein synthesis, lipid and amino acid metabolism. Pathway analysis identified the remodeling of epithelial adherens junction and TCA cycle as the most dominant pathways which may play important roles in skatole metabolism. Differential gene expression analysis identified candidate genes in ATP synthesis, cytochrome P450, keratin, phosphoglucomutase, isocitrate dehydrogenase and solute carrier family. Additionally, polymorphism and association analysis revealed that mutations in ATP5B, KRT8, PGM1, SLC22A7 and IDH1 genes could be potential markers for skatole levels in boars. Furthermore, expression analysis of exon usage of three genes (ATP5B, KRT8 and PGM1) revealed significant differential expression of exons of these genes in different skatole levels. These polymorphisms and exon expression differences may have impacts on the gene activity ultimately leading to skatole variation and could be used as genetic marker for boar taint related traits. However, further validation is required to confirm the effect of these genetic markers in other pig populations in order to be used in genomic selection against boar taint in pig breeding programs.
Project description:Tannins have long been considered 'anti-nutritional' factors in monogastric nutrition, shown to reduce feed intake and palatability. However, recent studies revealed that compared with condensed tannins, hydrolysable tannins (HT) appear to have far less impact on growth performance, but may be inhibitory to the total activity of caecal bacteria. This in turn could reduce microbial synthesis of skatole and indole in the hindgut of entire male pigs (EM). Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the impact of a group of dietary HT on growth performance, carcass traits and boar taint compounds of group housed EM. For the study, 36 Swiss Large White boars were assigned within litter to three treatment groups. Boars were offered ad libitum one of three finisher diets supplemented with 0 (C), 15 (T15) or 30 g/kg (T30) of HT from day 105 to 165 of age. Growth performance, carcass characteristics, boar taint compounds in the adipose tissue and cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoenzymes CYP2E1, CYP1A2 and CYP2A19 gene expression in the liver was assessed. Compared with C, feed efficiency but not daily gain and daily feed intake was lower (P<0.05) in T15 and T30 boars. Except for the percentage carcass weight loss during cooling, which tended (P<0.10) to be greater in T30 than C and T15, carcass characteristics were not affected by the diets. In line with the numerically lower androstenone level, bulbourethral and salivary glands of T30 boars were lighter (P<0.05) than of T15 with intermediate values for C. Indole level was lower (P<0.05) in the adipose tissue of T30 than C pigs with intermediate levels in T15. Skatole levels tended (P<0.10) to be lower in T30 and C than T15 pigs. Hepatic gene expression of CYP isoenzymes did not differ between-treatment groups, but was negatively correlated (P<0.05) with androstenone (CYP2E1 and CYP1A2), skatole (CYP2E1, CYP2A) and indole (CYP2A) level. In line with the numerically highest androstenone and skatole concentrations, boar taint odour but not flavour was detected by the panellists in loins from T15 compared with loins from C and T30 boars. These results provide evidence that HT affected metabolism of indolic compounds and androstenone and that they affected the development of accessory sex glands. However, the effects were too small to be detected by sensory evaluation.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In many countries, male piglets are castrated shortly after birth because a proportion of un-castrated male pigs produce meat with an unpleasant flavour and odour. Main compounds of boar taint are androstenone and skatole. The aim of this high-density genome-wide association study was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with androstenone levels in a commercial sire line of pigs. The identification of major genetic effects causing boar taint would accelerate the reduction of boar taint through breeding to finally eliminate the need for castration. RESULTS: The Illumina Porcine 60K+SNP Beadchip was genotyped on 987 pigs divergent for androstenone concentration from a commercial Duroc-based sire line. The association analysis with 47,897 SNPs revealed that androstenone levels in fat tissue were significantly affected by 37 SNPs on pig chromosomes SSC1 and SSC6. Among them, the 5 most significant SNPs explained together 13.7% of the genetic variance in androstenone. On SSC6, a larger region of 10 Mb was shown to be associated with androstenone covering several candidate genes potentially involved in the synthesis and metabolism of androgens. Besides known candidate genes, such as cytochrome P450 A19 (CYP2A19), sulfotransferases SULT2A1, and SULT2B1, also new members of the cytochrome P450 CYP2 gene subfamilies and of the hydroxysteroid-dehydrogenases (HSD17B14) were found. In addition, the gene encoding the ss-chain of the luteinizing hormone (LHB) which induces steroid synthesis in the Leydig cells of the testis at onset of puberty maps to this area on SSC6. Interestingly, the gene encoding the alpha-chain of LH is also located in one of the highly significant areas on SSC1. CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals several areas of the genome at high resolution responsible for variation of androstenone levels in intact boars. Major genetic factors on SSC1 and SSC6 showing moderate to large effects on androstenone concentration were identified in this commercial breeding line of pigs. Known and new candidate genes cluster especially on SSC6. For one of the most significant SNP variants, the difference in the proportion of animals surpassing the threshold of consumer acceptance between the two homozygous genotypes was as much as 15.6%.