Research press release


Nature Communications

Genetics: The genetic basis of domestication in European pigs



今回、Mirte Bosseたちは、ヨーロッパとアジアに由来する合計70種のブタのゲノムの塩基配列を解読、解析した。その結果、優れた肉質、成長と繁殖力に関連するアジア由来の遺伝子が数個同定され、これらの遺伝子が、交配によってヨーロッパ系のブタに導入され、養豚農家によって人為的に選択されたことが示唆されている。また、Bosseたちは、AHR遺伝子においてアジア由来の変異を同定し、この変異が、現代のヨーロッパ種の同腹仔数の多さと結びついていることを明らかにした。


Genetic analysis of wild and domestic Large White pigs from Europe and Asia suggests that early nineteenth century farmers imported Chinese pigs into Europe to improve the quality of their own breeds. The work, reported in Nature Communications, reveals the genetic changes that occurred as a result of pig farmers selecting desired commercial traits.

It is well known that Asian pigs, characterised by their superior meat quality, disease resistance and increased litter size, were imported into Europe at the onset of the industrial revolution, in order to increase the productivity of local pig breeds.

Mirte Bosse and colleagues sequenced the genomes of 70 diverse pig breeds from across Europe and Asia. They identify several Asian-derived genes associated with increased meat quality, development and fertility, and suggest that these genes were bred into European pigs and artificially selected for by farmers. They also identified Asian-derived mutations in the AHR gene that are linked to larger litter sizes in modern-day European commercial breeds.

This study highlights the genetic patterns that resulted from the breeding of Asian and European pigs and provides insight into the priorities of farmers during the domestication of modern European pigs.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms5392

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