The objective of this study is to investigate the genetic basis of prolificacy in pigs. For QTL analyses an F2 intercross was generated between Iberian and Meishan breeds. A total of 881 parities from 255 F2 sows were recorded for number of piglets born alive. A one-dimensional QTL mapping and a bi-dimensional genome-wide epistasis scan were performed with 117 markers. Genome-wide highly significant QTL (P<0.01) were located on SSC13 and SSC17, and a QTL on SSC12 (P<0.05). Six highly significant (P<0.01) and three significant (P<0.05) epistatic interactions were found, involving 13 of the 18 pig autosomes. These results give a new insight about the role of epistasis in modulating the phenotypic variation of prolificacy.

J. L Noguera, M. C Rodriguez, Luis Varona, A. Tomas, G. Munoz, O. Ramirez, C. Barragan, M. Arque, J. P Bidanel, M. Amills, C. Ovilo, A. Sanchez

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume , , 11.06, 2006
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