Genomic Diversity in Pig (Sus scrofa) and its Comparison with Human and other Livestock

Curr Genomics. 2011 Apr;12(2):138-46. doi: 10.2174/138920211795564386.


We have reviewed the current pig (Sus scrofa) genomic diversity within and between sites and compared them with human and other livestock. The current Porcine 60K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) panel has an average SNP distance in a range of 30 - 40 kb. Most of genetic variation was distributed within populations, and only a small proportion of them existed between populations. The average heterozygosity was lower in pig than in human and other livestock. Genetic inbreeding coefficient (F(IS)), population differentiation (F(ST)), and Nei's genetic distance between populations were much larger in pig than in human and other livestock. Higher average genetic distance existed between European and Asian populations than between European or between Asian populations. Asian breeds harboured much larger variability and higher average heterozygosity than European breeds. The samples of wild boar that have been analyzed displayed more extensive genetic variation than domestic breeds. The average linkage disequilibrium (LD) in improved pig breeds extended to 1 - 3 cM, much larger than that in human (~ 30 kb) and cattle (~ 100 kb), but smaller than that in sheep (~ 10 cM). European breeds showed greater LD that decayed more slowly than Asian breeds. We briefly discuss some processes for maintaining genomic diversity in pig, including migration, introgression, selection, and drift. We conclude that, due to the long time of domestication, the pig possesses lower heterozygosity, higher F(IS), and larger LD compared with human and cattle. This implies that a smaller effective population size and less informative markers are needed in pig for genome wide association studies.

Keywords: Pig; genomic diversity; human; linkage disequilibrium; livestock..