Evidence is accumulating that intronic polymorphic cytosine-adenosine (CA) repeats may play a role in gene expression. In this work, we investigated whether a polymorphic CA short tandem repeat (STR) located at the first intron of the pig insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) gene influences plasma IGF-I concentration in pigs as well as phenotypic variation in growth and fatness traits. We measured plasma IGF-I levels at one to four time points from 35 to 215 days of age in 340 performance-tested Landrace and Duroc pigs previously genotyped for the IGF-I STR. Data were analyzed within breed with a linear mixed model with the number of CA repeats as a covariate. At least five alleles were segregating in each breed, differing in one to seven repeats. The results showed that in each breed, circulating IGF-I at 160 days of age increased with the length of the shortest allele, accounting for an average trend of 4.38 ± 1.28 ng/ml of IGF-I per additional repeat (P = 0.001). Longer repeats were associated with early growth in Landrace boars (1.92 ± 0.92 kg per CA at 160 days; P = 0.038) and with back fat thickness (-0.57 ± 0.20 mm per CA; P = 0.005) and lean content (7.52 ± 3.00 g/kg per CA at 105 kg; P = 0.013) adjusted for carcass weight in Duroc barrows, as expected from the effect of circulating IGF-I on these traits. The consistency of the results across populations supports the hypothesis that the length of the CA repeats at intron 1 of the IGF-I gene is associated with circulating IGF-I levels, and that this effect is not neutral with respect to growth and fatness. Copyright © 2007 the American Physiological Society.
|Publication status||Published - 22 Oct 2007|
- Back fat
- Live weight