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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Weighted Single-Step GWAS for Body Mass Index and Scans for Recent Signatures of Selection in Yorkshire Pigs

Vahedi, Seyed Milad; Ardestani, Siavash Salek; Karimi, Karim; Banabazi, Mohammad Hossein


Controlling extra fat deposition is economically favorable in modern swine industry. Understanding the genetic architecture of fat deposition traits such as body mass index (BMI) can help in improving genomic selection for such traits. We utilized a weighted single-step genome-wide association study (WssGWAS) to detect genetic regions and candidate genes associated with BMI in a Yorkshire pig population. Three extended haplotype homozygosity (EHH)-related statistics were also incorporated within a de-correlated composite of multiple signals (DCMS) framework to detect recent selection signatures signals. Overall, the full pedigree consisted of 7016 pigs, of which 5561 had BMI records and 598 pigs were genotyped with an 80 K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array. Results showed that the most significant windows (top 15) explained 9.35% of BMI genetic variance. Several genes were detected in regions previously associated with pig fat deposition traits and treated as potential candidate genes for BMI in Yorkshire pigs: FTMT, SRFBP1, KHDRBS3, FOXG1, SOD3, LRRC32, TSKU, ACER3, B3GNT6, CCDC201, ADCY1, RAMP3, TBRG4, CCM2. Signature of selection analysis revealed multiple candidate genes previously associated with various economic traits. However, BMI genetic variance explained by regions under selection pressure was minimal (1.31%). In conclusion, candidate genes associated with Yorkshire pigs' BMI trait were identified using WssGWAS. Gene enrichment analysis indicated that the identified candidate genes were enriched in the insulin secretion pathway. We anticipate that these results further advance our understanding of the genetic architecture of BMI in Yorkshire pigs and provide information for genomic selection for fat deposition in this breed.


body mass index; candidate gene; recent signatures of selection; weighted single-step genome-wide association study; Yorkshire pig

Published in

Journal of Heredity
2022, volume: 113, number: 3, pages: 325-335

Authors' information

Vahedi, Seyed Milad
Dalhousie University
Ardestani, Siavash Salek
Dalhousie University
Karimi, Karim
Dalhousie University
Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (ARREO)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics

UKÄ Subject classification

Evolutionary Biology
Genetics and Breeding

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