Selection of candidate genes affecting meat quality and preliminary exploration of related molecular mechanisms in the Mashen pig

  • Gao, Pengfei (College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University) ;
  • Cheng, Zhimin (College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University) ;
  • Li, Meng (College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhang, Ningfang (College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University) ;
  • Le, Baoyu (College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhang, Wanfeng (College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University) ;
  • Song, Pengkang (College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University) ;
  • Guo, Xiaohong (College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University) ;
  • Li, Bugao (College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University) ;
  • Cao, Guoqing (College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2018.09.20
  • Accepted : 2019.02.07
  • Published : 2019.08.01


Objective: The aim of this study was to select the candidate genes affecting meat quality and preliminarily explore the related molecular mechanisms in the Mashen pig. Methods: The present study explored genetic factors affecting meat quality in the Mashen pig using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). We sequenced the transcriptomes of 180-day-old Mashen and Large White pigs using longissimus dorsi to select differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Results: The results indicated that a total of 425 genes were differentially expressed between Mashen and Large White pigs. A gene ontology enrichment analysis revealed that DEGs were mainly enriched for biological processes associated with metabolism and muscle development, while a Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes analysis showed that DEGs mainly participated in signaling pathways associated with amino acid metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, and skeletal muscle differentiation. A MCODE analysis of the protein-protein interaction network indicated that the four identified subsets of genes were mainly associated with translational initiation, skeletal muscle differentiation, amino acid metabolism, and oxidative phosphorylation pathways. Conclusion: Based on the analysis results, we selected glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase 1, malate dehydrogenase 1, pyruvate dehydrogenase 1, pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4, and activator protein-1 as candidate genes affecting meat quality in pigs. A discussion of the related molecular mechanisms is provided to offer a theoretical basis for future studies on the improvement of meat quality in pigs.


Supported by : Shanxi Province, National Natural Science Foundation of China


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