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Research article2011Peer reviewed

High throughput analyses of epistasis for swine body dimensions and organ weights

Wei, W. H.; Duan, Y.; Haley, C. S.; Ren, J.; de Koning, D. J.; Huang, L. S.


P>High throughput analyses were performed to detect epistatic QTL in 17 body dimension and organ weight traits from a large F(2) pig population derived from a White Duroc and Erhualian intercross. The analyses used a nested test framework to handle multiple tests and a combined search algorithm to map epistatic QTL with empirical genome-wide thresholds derived via prior permutation. Alternative statistical models (e.g. including vs. excluding carcass weight as a covariate) were tested to develop an in-depth understanding of the role of epistasis in these kinds of traits. Epistasis signals were detected in only two or three traits under each statistical model studied. The interaction component of each pair of epistatic QTL explained a small proportion (0.7 to 2.1%) of the phenotypic variance in general. About half of the detected epistatic QTL pairs involved one of the two major QTL on porcine chromosomes 7 and 4. In those traits, the Erhualian allele consistently increased the phenotypes for the chromosome 7 QTL but decreased them for the chromosome 4 QTL. Models including carcass weight as covariate detected epistasis in body dimension traits whereas those excluding carcass weight found epistasis in organ weight traits. In addition, the epistasis results suggested that a QTL on chromosome 14 could be important for a number of organ weight traits. Using the high-throughput analysis tool to examine different statistical models was essential for the generation of a complete picture of epistasis in a whole category of traits.


body dimension; epistasis; high-throughput; organ weight; pig; QTL

Published in

Animal Genetics
2011, Volume: 42, number: 1, pages: 15-21

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Veterinary Science
    Animal and Dairy Science

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