Porcine intramuscular fat content and composition are regulated by quantitative trait loci with muscle-specific effects

J Anim Sci. 2011 Oct;89(10):2963-71. doi: 10.2527/jas.2011-3974. Epub 2011 May 13.


Intramuscular fat (IMF) storage is a biological process with a strong impact on nutritional and technological properties of meat and also with relevant consequences on human health. The genetic architecture of IMF content and composition phenotypes has been thoroughly studied in pigs through the identification of QTL and the estimation of genetic parameters. A question that has not been elucidated yet is if the genetic determinants of IMF-related phenotypes are muscle specific or, conversely, have broad effects on the whole skeletal muscle compartment. We have addressed this question by generating lipid QTL maps for 2 muscles with a high commercial value, gluteus medius (GM) and longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LTL), in a Duroc commercial population (n = 350). Our data support a lack of concordance between the GM and LTL QTL maps, suggesting that the effects of polymorphisms influencing IMF, cholesterol, and fatty acid contents are modulated to some extent by complex spatial factors related to muscle location, metabolism, and function. These results have important implications on the implementation of genomic selection schemes aimed to improve the lipid profile of swine meat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Body Composition / genetics*
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Swine / genetics*
  • Swine / physiology*