Identification of genetic markers for stress responsiveness and meat quality in Canadian Yorkshire pigs
Luman/CREB3 is a stress gene that has recently been identified in mouse models and therefore presents a promising avenue for exploring the genetic component underlying stress-responsiveness in pigs. This thesis provides a detailed account of the genetic variation that exists naturally at the Luman gene of Canadian Yorkshire and Chinese Meishan breeding pigs. We present evidence that genetic variation in the swine Luman gene is associated with individual differences in behavioural coping styles for stress, physiological stress levels, and meat quality characteristics among pigs. Notably, two haplotypes (A1 and A2) were associated with lower activity levels and exploratory behaviours in response to novelty and human interaction as well as greater meat quality, whereas haplotypes B1 and B2 were associated with the opposite characteristics. We postulate that genetic variations in the swine Luman gene may be used as markers for robustness and meat quality in pigs for animal breeding purposes.