Adaptation and possible ancient interspecies introgression in pigs identified by whole-genome sequencing

Nat Genet. 2015 Mar;47(3):217-25. doi: 10.1038/ng.3199. Epub 2015 Jan 26.


Domestic pigs have evolved genetic adaptations to their local environmental conditions, such as cold and hot climates. We sequenced the genomes of 69 pigs from 15 geographically divergent locations in China and detected 41 million variants, of which 21 million were absent from the dbSNP database. In a genome-wide scan, we identified a set of loci that likely have a role in regional adaptations to high- and low-latitude environments within China. Intriguingly, we found an exceptionally large (14-Mb) region with a low recombination rate on the X chromosome that appears to have two distinct haplotypes in the high- and low-latitude populations, possibly underlying their adaptation to cold and hot environments, respectively. Surprisingly, the adaptive sweep in the high-latitude regions has acted on DNA that might have been introgressed from an extinct Sus species. Our findings provide new insights into the evolutionary history of pigs and the role of introgression in adaptation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization / genetics
  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • China
  • Environment
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Female
  • Gene Transfer, Horizontal / genetics*
  • Genetics, Population / methods
  • Genome
  • Genome-Wide Association Study / methods
  • Haplotypes
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Swine
  • X Chromosome

Associated data

  • SRA/SRA096093