One QTL affecting backfat thickness (BF), intramuscular fat content (IMF) and eye muscle area (MA) was previously localized on porcine chromosome 6 in an F2 cross between Iberian and Landrace pigs. This work was done to study the effect of two positional candidate genes on these traits: H-FABP and LEPR genes. The QTL mapping analysis was repeated with a regression method using genotypes for seven microsatellites and two PCR-RFLPs in the H-FABP and LEPR genes. H-FABP and LEPR genes were located at 85.4 and 107 cM respectively, by linkage analysis. The effects of the candidate gene polymorphisms were analyzed in two ways. When an animal model was fitted, both genes showed significant effects on fatness traits, the H-FABP polymorphism showed significant effects on IMF and MA, and the LEPR polymorphism on BF and IMF. But when the candidate gene effect was included in a QTL regression analysis these associations were not observed, suggesting that they must not be the causal mutations responsible for the effects found. Differences in the results of both analyses showed the inadequacy of the animal model approach for the evaluation of positional candidate genes in populations with linkage disequilibrium, when the probabilities of the parental origin of the QTL alleles are not included in the model.
Keywords:candidate gene; H-FABP; LEPR; QTL; pigs
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