Bayes factor analyses of heritability for serum and muscle lipid traits in Duroc pigs

J. Casellas, J. L. Noguera, J. Reixach, I. Díaz, M. Amills, R. Quintanilla

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Concern about pork quality has increased during last decades. Given the influence of fat content and composition on sensorial, nutritional, and technological variables of pork meat, an accurate knowledge about genetic control of pig lipid metabolism is required. This study focused on providing a broad characterization for serum and meat lipid trait heritability estimates in pigs. Analyses were performed on a population of 370 Duroc barrows and measured the additive polygenic background for the serum concentrations of cholesterol, triglyceride, and low- and high-density lipoproteins at 45 and 190 d of age (at slaughter), as well as intramuscular fat, cholesterol content, and C:12 to C:22 fatty acid content in longissimus thoracis et lumborum and gluteus medius muscles at slaughter. These traits were analyzed under Bayesian univariate animal linear models, and the statistical relevance of heritability estimates was evaluated through Bayes factor (BF); the model with polygenic additive effects was favored when BF >1. All serum lipid traits showed relevant genetic determinism, but the BF reached greater values at 190 d of age. Serum lipid traits displayed moderate modal estimates for heritability that ranged from 0.18 to 0.30. On the other hand, the genetic determinism for meat quality traits showed a heterogeneous behavior with large and less-than-1 BF. In general, longissimus thoracis et lumborum and gluteus medius muscles showed a similar pattern, with strong evidence of polygenic additive effects for intramuscular fat and palmitic, stearic, and cis-vaccenic fatty acids content, whereas oleic and muscle cholesterol content showed moderate to weak BF with moderate heritabilities. Similarly, results regarding linoleic, arachidonic, n-3, and n-6 fatty acids suggested a moderate genetic determinism, but only in gluteus medius muscle. For the remaining traits (myristic and palmitoleic fatty acids in both muscles, along with linoleic, arachidonic, n-3, and n-6 fatty acids in the longissimus thoracis et lumborum muscle), no statistical evidence for genetic control was observed in this study. As a whole, these results confirm the complexity of lipid metabolism in pigs. © 2010 American Society of Animal Science.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2246-2254
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2010


  • Bayes factor
  • Cholesterol
  • Fatty acid
  • Heritability
  • Lipoprotein
  • Meat quality


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