Genetics of body fat mass and related traits in a pig population selected for leanness
H. Reyer; P. F. Varley; E. Murani; S. Ponsuksili; K. Wimmers
Year of publication
Obesity is characterized as the excessive accumulation of body fat and has a complex genetic foundation in humans including monogenic high-risk mutations and polygenic contributions. Domestic pigs represent a valuable model on an obesity-promoting high-caloric diet while constantly evaluated for body characteristics. As such, we investigated the genetics of obesity-related traits, comprising subcutaneous fat thickness, lean mass percentage, and growth rate, in a pig population. We conducted genome-wide association analyses using an integrative approach of single-marker regression models and multi-marker Bayesian analyses. Thus, we identified 30 genomic regions distributed over 14 different chromosomes contributing to the variation in obesity-related traits. In these regions, we validated the association of four candidate genes that are functionally connected to the regulation of appetite, processes of adipogenesis, and extracellular matrix formation. Our findings revealed fundamental genetic factors which deserves closer attention regarding their roles in the etiology of obesity.