Effect of VRTN gene polymorphisms on Duroc pig production and carcass traits, and their genetic relationships

Hikaru Nakano, Shuji Sato, Yoshinobu Uemoto, Takashi Kikuchi, Tomoya Shibata, Hiroshi Kadowaki, Eiji Kobayashi, Keiichi Suzuki

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    The thoracic vertebral number is associated with body length and carcass traits, and represents one of the most important traits in the pig industry. Recent studies have shown that vertnin (VRTN) gene is associated with variations in the vertebral number in commercial European pigs. However, the genetic relationships and effect of this VRTN gene in pig production and carcass traits remain uncertain. Therefore, we investigated the genetic relationships among traits such as vertebral numbers, carcass weight and length-related traits, and meat production traits, and the effect of VRTN gene polymorphisms on these traits in a Duroc purebred population selected for its meat production traits. Highly positive genetic correlations were obtained between the thoracic vertebral numbers and length-related traits (0.56 to 0.84), whereas low correlations were obtained with production traits and carcass weight (-0.16 to 0.05). VRTN gene polymorphisms indicated that the number of thoracic vertebrae and length-related traits were significantly associated with the VRTN genotype, but had no significant effect on production traits and carcass weight. The results indicate that VRTN gene may be used as an effective selection marker to obtain pigs with high thoracic vertebral numbers and length-related traits, without adversely affecting meat production traits.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)125-131
    Number of pages7
    JournalAnimal Science Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 1


    • Genetic parameter
    • Pig
    • Thoracic vertebral number
    • VRTN gene

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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