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Estimates of genetic parameters for content of boar taint compounds in adipose tissue of intact males at 160 and 220 days of age.

TitleEstimates of genetic parameters for content of boar taint compounds in adipose tissue of intact males at 160 and 220 days of age.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsRostellato, R, Bonfatti, V, Larzul, C, Bidanel, JP, Carnier, P
JournalJ Anim Sci
Date Published2015 Sep

The aims of this study were to investigate variation in content of androstenone (AND), skatole (SKA), and indole (IND), quantified in adipose tissue of intact male pigs at 160 d of age (105 kg BW) and 220 d of age (155 kg BW), to estimate genetic parameters and to investigate the genetic relationships for AND, SKA, IND, and growth traits. A sample of adipose tissue was collected in vivo, using a biopsy device, from the neck of 500 intact males at the 2 ages and at slaughter from the ham of 100 of the investigated animals. Backfat depth was measured at 220 d of age, whereas BW was recorded at each sampling. Quantification of AND, SKA, and IND was performed by HPLC with fluorescence detection. Estimates of genetic parameters were obtained through Bayesian analyses after logarithmic transformations of original measures. Contents of boar taint compounds (BTC) measured at 220 d were higher than those at 160 d of age. Correlations between contents of BTC in backfat and ham fat ranged from 0.7 (IND) to 0.88 (SKA). Medium-high h were estimated for BTC at both ages, but estimates at 220 d (0.58, 0.60, and 0.69 for AND, SKA, and IND, respectively) were greater than those at 160 d. The genetic correlation between contents at 160 and 220 d of each BTC was positive, but the probability that such estimates were greater than 0.8 was very low, indicating that contents at 160 and 220 d were traits controlled by different genetic backgrounds. Different rankings were observed when breeding values for the content at 160 and 220 d of age were used to rank animals. As a consequence, performance testing programs for BTC should be based preferably on phenotypes measured at 220 d of age. Weak genetic correlations were observed between content of BT compounds and growth traits (BW, backfat depth, and daily gain from 160 to 220 d of age), indicating that selective breeding to reduce the risk of tainted pork is expected to exert trivial effects on growth performance and fat deposition. Results indicate that prevalence of BTC is high in mature and heavy pigs relative to young and light pigs. High heritability; positive genetic correlations between AND, SKA, and IND; and trivial effects on growth traits suggest that reduction of BTC through selective breeding is feasible and exploitable as an alternative to surgical castration also for pigs slaughtered at heavy BW.

Alternate JournalJ. Anim. Sci.
PubMed ID26440326