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Signatures of de‐domestication in autochthonous pig breeds and of domestication in wild boar populations from MC1R and NR6A1 allele distribution

Ribani, A., Utzeri, V. J., Geraci, C., Tinarelli, S., Djan, M., Veličković, N., Doneva, R., Dall'Olio, S., Nanni Costa, L., Schiavo, G., Bovo, S., Usai, G., Gallo, M., Radović, Č., Savić, R., Karolyi, D., Salajpal, K., Gvozdanović, K., Djurkin‐Kušec, I., Škrlep, M., Čandek‐Potokar, M., Ovilo, C., Fontanesi, L.
Animal genetics 2019 v.50 no.2 pp. 166-171
Black Slavonian, Sus scrofa, alleles, alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone, color, domestication, genetic variation, humans, introgression, loci, phenotype, production technology, rearing, swine, wild boars, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Serbia, Slovenia
Autochthonous pig breeds are usually reared in extensive or semi‐extensive production systems that might facilitate contact with wild boars and, thus, reciprocal genetic exchanges. In this study, we analysed variants in the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene (which cause different coat colour phenotypes) and in the nuclear receptor subfamily 6 group A member 1 (NR6A1) gene (associated with increased vertebral number) in 712 pigs of 12 local pig breeds raised in Italy (Apulo‐Calabrese, Casertana, Cinta Senese, Mora Romagnola, Nero Siciliano and Sarda) and south‐eastern European countries (Krškopolje from Slovenia, Black Slavonian and Turopolje from Croatia, Mangalitsa and Moravka from Serbia and East Balkan Swine from Bulgaria) and compared the data with the genetic variability at these loci investigated in 229 wild boars from populations spread in the same macro‐geographic areas. None of the autochthonous pig breeds or wild boar populations were fixed for one allele at both loci. Domestic and wild‐type alleles at these two genes were present in both domestic and wild populations. Findings of the distribution of MC1R alleles might be useful for tracing back the complex genetic history of autochthonous breeds. Altogether, these results indirectly demonstrate that bidirectional introgression of wild and domestic alleles is derived and affected by the human and naturally driven evolutionary forces that are shaping the Sus scrofa genome: autochthonous breeds are experiencing a sort of ‘de‐domestication’ process, and wild resources are challenged by a ‘domestication’ drift. Both need to be further investigated and managed.