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Identification of polymorphism and association analysis with reproductive traits in the porcine RNF4 gene

Niu, B.Y., Ye, L.Z., Li, F.E., Deng, C.Y., Jiang, S.W., Lei, M.G., Xiong, Y.Z.
Animal reproduction science 2009 v.110 no.3-4 pp. 283-292
breed differences, swine breeds, female fertility, gene expression, genotype, reproductive traits, genomics, sows, genes, additive gene effects, animal tissues, gene frequency, selection criteria, litter size, animal genetics, single nucleotide polymorphism
The ring finger protein 4 gene (RNF4), which might play a role in fetal germ cell development as well as in oocyte and granulosa cell maturation, was one of the potential candidate genes for reproductive traits. In the present work, we isolated the complete coding sequence of porcine RNF4 gene, identified a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP: T/C) in intron5, and developed a PCR-SacII-RFLP genotyping assay. Association of this SNP with reproductive traits was assessed in three populations with diverse genetic backgrounds. One was Chinese Qingping sows. Another was consisted of crossbred sows derived from Landrace, Large White, Chinese Tongcheng and/or Chinese Meishan (Line DIV). The third is Large WhitexMeishan (LWxM) F₂ slaughtered population. Statistical analysis demonstrated that, in the first parity, the difference between RNF4 genotypes and reproductive traits of both Qingping and Line DIV sows was not significant. In the second and subsequent litters, CC animals in Qingping population had more piglets born (+1.74 piglets) and piglets born alive (+2.02 piglets) than sows with the TT genotype (P <0.05). Line DIV sows inheriting the CC genotype had additional 0.69 piglets born compared to the TC animals (P <0.05) in second and subsequent litters. No significant difference was observed between genotypes and reproductive tracts components in F₂ animals. In addition, we found RNF4 gene has a significant additive effect on both piglet born and piglet born alive in Qingping animals (P <0.05). Results here suggested that the RNF4 SNP was significantly associated with litter size in two populations and could be useful in selection for increasing litter size in pigs. Further studies were needed to confirm these preliminary researches.