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The identification of functional mutations affecting boar taint

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Title: The identification of functional mutations affecting boar taint
Author: Archer, Holly
Department: Department of Animal Biosciences
Program: Animal and Poultry Science
Advisor: Squires, Jim
Abstract: Despite mounting welfare concerns, surgical castration of all male piglets is the most common method to control for boar taint. The aim of this study was to identify functional genetic mutations that can be used in selective breeding programs to effectively decrease boar taint in pigs. Analysis of SNP effect was carried out on 120 SNPs previously identified within candidate genes for skatole and androstenone metabolism. Following this analysis, SNPs residing within the CYP2E1 promoter, located on SSC14 and known for its functions in skatole metabolism, were selected for further study. This gene is an important xenobiotic metabolizer in many species, including humans. Results from the initial trial revealed 13 SNPs residing in 10 genes to be significantly associated with boar taint metabolism (a < 0.05). Highly polymorphic regions for this phenotype were observed on SSC 6, 10 and 14. Results from the second analysis indicated that one SNP within the CYP2E1 promoter was significantly associated with CYP2E1 gene expression. An additional three SNPs approached significance at a < 0.10. These results aid to increase the current understanding of CYP2E1-mediated boar taint regulation in pigs. Furthermore, the identification of several functional polymorphisms within candidate genes will aid the development of an effective marker assisted selective breeding program against boar taint.
Date: 2016-08
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