Coat colour phenotype of Qingyu pig is associated with polymorphisms of melanocortin receptor 1 gene

  • Wu, Xiaoqian (College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University) ;
  • Tan, Zhendong (College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University) ;
  • Shen, Linyuan (College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University) ;
  • Yang, Qiong (Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, Chengdu Agricultural College) ;
  • Cheng, Xiao (College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University) ;
  • Liao, Kun (Pasturage Station of Tongjiang Agriculture Bbureau) ;
  • Bai, Lin (College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University) ;
  • Shuai, Surong (College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University) ;
  • Li, Mingzhou (College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University) ;
  • Li, Xuewei (College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhang, Shunhua (College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhu, Li (College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2016.05.11
  • Accepted : 2016.12.10
  • Published : 2017.07.01


Objective: Qingyu pig, a Chinese indigenous pig breed, exhibits two types of coat colour phenotypes, including pure black and white with black spotting respectively. Melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R) and agouti signaling protein (ASIP) are two widely reported pivotal genes that significantly affect the regulation of coat colour. The objectives of this study were to investigate whether the polymorphisms of these two genes are associated with coat colour and analyze the molecular mechanism of the coat colour separation in Qingyu pig. Methods: We studied the phenotype segregation and used polymerase chain reaction amplification and Sanger sequencing to investigate the polymorphism of MC1R and ASIP in 121 Qingyu pigs, consisting of 115 black and 6 white with black spotted pigs. Results: Coat colour of Qingyu pig is associated with the polymorphisms of MC1R but not ASIP. We only found 2 haplotypes, $E^{QY}$ and $E^{qy}$, based on the 13 observed mutations from MC1R gene. Among which, $E^{qy}$ presented a recessive inheritance mode in black spotted Qingyu pigs. Further analysis revealed a g.462-463CC insertion that caused a frameshift mutation and a premature stop codon, thus changed the first transmembrane domain completely and lost the remaining six transmembrane domains. Altogether, our results strongly support that the variety of Qingyu pig's coat colour is related to MC1R. Conclusion: Our findings indicated that black coat colour in Qingyu pig was dominant to white with black spotted phenotype and MC1R gene polymorphism was associated with coat colour separation in Qingyu pig.


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