QTL and Association Analysis of Mx1 Gene with Economic Traits in Commercial Pigs
Mx proteins, as interferon-induced GTPases had been shown to have antiviral activity in different species. Recently, it has been recognized that an 11 bp-deletion in coding region of porcine Mx1 gene can lead to a special Mx1 protein isoform, which is lacking antiviral activity to influenza in vitro. This Mx1 11 bp-deletion polymorphism is a potential gene marker in pig breeding for disease resistance in future but there is no report on its relationship with economic traits in pig. Its interesting to know, whether it associates with the economic QTLs or traits in commercial pigs, as well as its distribution in different breeds. In this pilot study, the pig Mx1 gene was found within three QTL regions which were related with fiber percentage, average daily gain and average backfat thickness. Seven economic traits of pure Landrace and Yorkshire were used to analyze the association with the Mx1 11 bp-deletion polymorphism. These traits include body length, body height, lean meat percentage, correction backfat thickness, average daily gain from birth to 100 kg, average daily gain from 30-100 kg and age to 100 kg. The results showed no statistical significant associations between the Mx1 11 bp-deletion allele and the seven porcine economic traits in the tested pure Landrace and Yorkshire population. We also detected the allele frequencies of the Mx1 11 bp-deletion in seven different porcine breeds and estimate its population homogeneity between breeds. However, more research is still necessary before this gene marker is utilized in porcine breeding.