Published by Blackwell Scientific Publications for the International Society for Animal Blood Group Research
Animal Genetics vol:41 issue:5 pages:493-498
Summary A QTL located in the paternally expressed insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) gene is known to increase muscle growth and reduce fat deposition in pigs. This makes the QTL in IGF2 a good marker for use in pig breeding programmes. However, care has to be taken as it is postulated that increased leanness and lowered fat deposition may have a negative effect on the prolificacy and longevity of sows. Selection of sire and dam lines for different alleles of the mutation in the paternally imprinted IGF2 gene could actually provide a solution to this problem. Therefore, in this study, the effect of the IGF2 QTL on prolificacy-related traits in sows was investigated. It was found that the paternal IGF2 wild-type allele was associated with higher reproduction performance in the sow. Moreover, it was also examined whether the difference in prolificacy in sows could be a consequence of differential IGF2 expression in the ovarian follicles of the sow or whether it is mainly a secondary effect caused by differences in fatness traits. Therefore, IGF2 expression was measured in follicles of different sizes from sows with different genotypes for the paternal IGF2 allele. It was observed that, however, while the size of the follicles was associated with follicular IGF2 expression level, the IGF2 genotype was not. It could be concluded that the difference in prolificacy of sows with a different paternal IGF2 genotype could be a secondary effect, resulting from differences in fat deposition.