Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Functional candidate genes for quality meat traits derived from muscle expression profiles at seven key stages of two breeds, Duroc and Pietrain

The various techniques of expression profiling that were applied (including subtractive hybridisation, microarray analyses and differential display) revealed in total of 584 genes that were either temporal regulated during myogenesis or differentially expressed between the two breeds. Selection of loci for further analysis was based on:

- The consistency of the expression pattern and its reproducibility;

- Knowledge on the function of the particular gene (categorized as structural gene, metabolic, translational, transcriptional, receptor/endocrine factors, differentiation, proliferation and "unknown");

- The map position allowing giving preference to those genes located in QTL regions for meat quality traits.

Other criteria to establish a short list of candidate genes were possible repeated detection by more than one method; preference for breed-specific expressed genes with a higher likelihood to represent genetic variation useful in breeding than temporal regulated genes and the desired for an equal proportion of Pietrain- and Duroc-preferentially expressed genes.

The short list of functional candidate genes covers 52 loci. For these loci the mRNA expression pattern was analysed also by qRT-PCR in the seven stages of embryonic development for both breeds. The results indicate that there are differences in the expression level of the majority of the analysed genes between breeds or between stages or between breeds within stages.

Screening for polymorphism was done by comparative sequencing of a set of DNAs of animals of the breeds Duroc, Pietrain, and German Landrace shared by all partners. In summary in 36 out of 49 genes screened for polymorphism either SNPs or InDels were detected that are suitable for genotyping. PCR-RFLPs, PCR-SSCPs, single base extension assays, TaqMan assays, as well as melting curve analysis protocols were established for high throughput genotyping of the polymorphisms.

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