Identification of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) and candidate genes associated with water holding capacity in porcine meat
An experimental F2 cross between Iberian and Landrace pig strains was performed to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) for diverse productive traits. Here we report results for meat quality traits from 369 F2 animals with records for pH 24 h postmortem (pH 24 h), muscle color Minolta measurements L* (lightness), a* (redness), and b* (yellowness), H* (hue angle), C* (chroma), intramuscular fat (IMF) and haematin pigment content measured in the longissimus thoracis. Pigs were genotyped for 92 markers covering the 18 porcine autosomes (SSC). Results of the genome scan show evidence for QTL for IMF (SSC6; F = 27.16), pH 24 h (SSC3; F = 7.73), haematin pigments (SSC4 and SSC7; F = 8.68 and 9.47 respectively) and Minolta color measurements L* (SSC4 and SSC7; F =16.42 and 7.17 respectively), and a* (SSC4 and SSC8; F = 8.05 and 7.36 respectively). No QTL were observed for the color measurements b*, H*, and C*. Alternative models fitting epistasis between QTL were also tested, but detected epistatic interactions were not significant at a genome-wise level. In this work we identify genomic regions related with meat quality traits. Improvement by traditional selection methods is complicated, and finer mapping would be required for their application in introgression programs.