For 10,000 years pigs and humans have shared a close and complex relationship. From domestication to modern breeding practices, humans have shaped the genomes of domestic pigs. Here we present the assembly and analysis of the genome sequence of a female domestic Duroc pig (Sus scrofa) and a comparison with the genomes of wild and domestic pigs from Europe and Asia. Wild pigs emerged in South East Asia and subsequently spread across Eurasia. Our results reveal a deep phylogenetic split between European and Asian wild boars ~1 million years ago, and a selective sweep analysis indicates selection on genes involved in RNA processing and regulation. Genes associated with immune response and olfaction exhibit fast evolution. Pigs have the largest repertoire of functional olfactory receptor genes, reflecting the importance of smell in this scavenging animal. The pig genome sequence provides an important resource for further improvements of this important livestock species, and our identification of many putative disease-causing variants extends the potential of the pig as a biomedical model.
We describe the organization of a nascent international effort, the Functional Annotation of Animal Genomes (FAANG) project, whose aim is to produce comprehensive maps of functional elements in the genomes of domesticated animal species.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-015-0622-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Identification of individual major genes affecting quantitative traits in livestock species has been limited to date. By using a candidate gene approach and a divergent breed cross involving the Chinese Meishan pig, we have shown that a specific allele of the estrogen receptor (ER) locus is associated with increased litter size. Female pigs from synthetic lines with a 50% Meishan background that were homozygous for this beneficial allele produced 2.3 more pigs in first parities and 1.5 more pigs averaged over all parities than females from the same synthetic lines and homozygous for the undesirable allele. This beneficial ER allele was also found in pigs with Large White breed ancestory. Analysis of females with Large White breed background showed an advantage for females homozygous for the beneficial allele as compared to females homozygous for the other allele of more than 1 total pig born. Analyses of growth performance test records detected no significant unfavorable associations of the beneficial allele with growth and developmental traits. Mapping of the ER gene demonstrated that the closest known genes or markers were 3 centimorgans from ER. To our knowledge, one of these, superoxide dismutase gene (SOD2), was mapped for the first time in the pig. Analysis of ER and these linked markers indicated that ER is the best predictor of litter size differences. Introgression of the beneficial allele into commercial pig breeding lines, in which the allele was not present, and marker-assisted selection for the beneficial allele in lines with Meishan and Large White background have begun.
Background: This work describes the first genome-wide analysis of the transcriptional landscape of the pig. A new porcine Affymetrix expression array was designed in order to provide comprehensive coverage of the known pig transcriptome. The new array was used to generate a genome-wide expression atlas of pig tissues derived from 62 tissue/cell types. These data were subjected to network correlation analysis and clustering.Results: The analysis presented here provides a detailed functional clustering of the pig transcriptome where transcripts are grouped according to their expression pattern, so one can infer the function of an uncharacterized gene from the company it keeps and the locations in which it is expressed. We describe the overall transcriptional signatures present in the tissue atlas, where possible assigning those signatures to specific cell populations or pathways. In particular, we discuss the expression signatures associated with the gastrointestinal tract, an organ that was sampled at 15 sites along its length and whose biology in the pig is similar to human. We identify sets of genes that define specialized cellular compartments and region-specific digestive functions. Finally, we performed a network analysis of the transcription factors expressed in the gastrointestinal tract and demonstrate how they subdivide into functional groups that may control cellular gastrointestinal development. Conclusions: As an important livestock animal with a physiology that is more similar than mouse to man, we provide a major new resource for understanding gene expression with respect to the known physiology of mammalian tissues and cells. The data and analyses are available on the websites http://biogps.org and http://www.macrophages.com/pig-atlas.
We investigated the effect of the estrogen receptor (ESR) gene on growth and reproductive traits in four Large White-based commercial pig lines. A total of 9,015 litter records from 4,262 sows genotyped at the ESR locus were analyzed to determine whether ESR influenced total number born (TNB) or number born alive (NBA). Teat number (TN), test ADG, ADFI, feed:gain ratio (F/G), and ultrasonic backfat (BF) were also analyzed to determine effects of ESR. The TNB and NBA were increased per favorable allele of ESR (P < .01) with additive effects of .42 (.31) and .39 (.31) pigs/litter in the first parity (later parities), respectively. Dominance effects were near zero in parity one, but they were .16 and .14 pigs for TNB and NBA, respectively, in later parities (P < .05). A favorable additive pleiotropic effect was detected for BF (P < .001; -.11 mm per copy of the favorable litter size allele). There were no detectable effects on ADG or F/G (P > .10), although ADF was reduced 18 g/d per copy of the favorable litter size allele (P < .05). Average TN was 13.1 for pigs carrying the favorable litter size allele vs 13.2 for noncarriers (P < .05). Marker-assisted selection using ESR is warranted to increase litter size in the Large White-based lines considered here and will be of considerable economic value to pork producers. KeywordsEstrogen Receptors, Reproduction, Growth, Genetic Markers, Major Genes, Pleiotropy Disciplines Agriculture | Animal Sciences | Genetics and Genomics Comments Effect of the Estrogen Receptor Locus on Reproduction and Production Traits in Four Commercial ABSTRACT:We investigated the effect of the estrogen receptor (ESR) gene on growth and reproductive traits in four Large White-based commercial pig lines. A total of 9,015 litter records from 4,262 sows genotyped at the ESR locus were analyzed to determine whether ESR influenced total number born (TNB) or number born alive (NBA). Teat number (TN), test ADG, ADFI, feed:gain ratio (F/G), and ultrasonic backfat (BF) were also analyzed to determine effects of ESR. The TNB and NBA were increased per favorable allele of ESR ( P < .01) with additive effects of .42 (.31) and .39 (.31) pigs/litter in the first parity (later parities), respectively. Dominance effects were near zero in parity one, but they were .16 and .14 pigs for TNB and NBA, respectively, in later parities ( P < .05). A favorable additive pleiotropic effect was detected for BF ( P < .001; −.11 mm per copy of the favorable litter size allele). There were no detectable effects on ADG or F/ G ( P > .10), although ADF was reduced 18 g/d per copy of the favorable litter size allele ( P < .05). Average TN was 13.1 for pigs carrying the favorable litter size allele vs 13.2 for noncarriers ( P < .05). Marker-assisted selection using ESR is warranted to increase litter size in the Large White-based lines considered here and will be of considerable economic value to pork producers.
BackgroundThe domestic pig is known as an excellent model for human immunology and the two species share many pathogens. Susceptibility to infectious disease is one of the major constraints on swine performance, yet the structure and function of genes comprising the pig immunome are not well-characterized. The completion of the pig genome provides the opportunity to annotate the pig immunome, and compare and contrast pig and human immune systems.ResultsThe Immune Response Annotation Group (IRAG) used computational curation and manual annotation of the swine genome assembly 10.2 (Sscrofa10.2) to refine the currently available automated annotation of 1,369 immunity-related genes through sequence-based comparison to genes in other species. Within these genes, we annotated 3,472 transcripts. Annotation provided evidence for gene expansions in several immune response families, and identified artiodactyl-specific expansions in the cathelicidin and type 1 Interferon families. We found gene duplications for 18 genes, including 13 immune response genes and five non-immune response genes discovered in the annotation process. Manual annotation provided evidence for many new alternative splice variants and 8 gene duplications. Over 1,100 transcripts without porcine sequence evidence were detected using cross-species annotation. We used a functional approach to discover and accurately annotate porcine immune response genes. A co-expression clustering analysis of transcriptomic data from selected experimental infections or immune stimulations of blood, macrophages or lymph nodes identified a large cluster of genes that exhibited a correlated positive response upon infection across multiple pathogens or immune stimuli. Interestingly, this gene cluster (cluster 4) is enriched for known general human immune response genes, yet contains many un-annotated porcine genes. A phylogenetic analysis of the encoded proteins of cluster 4 genes showed that 15% exhibited an accelerated evolution as compared to 4.1% across the entire genome.ConclusionsThis extensive annotation dramatically extends the genome-based knowledge of the molecular genetics and structure of a major portion of the porcine immunome. Our complementary functional approach using co-expression during immune response has provided new putative immune response annotation for over 500 porcine genes. Our phylogenetic analysis of this core immunome cluster confirms rapid evolutionary change in this set of genes, and that, as in other species, such genes are important components of the pig’s adaptation to pathogen challenge over evolutionary time. These comprehensive and integrated analyses increase the value of the porcine genome sequence and provide important tools for global analyses and data-mining of the porcine immune response.
Mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) grown in M-CSF (CSF-1) have been used widely in studies of macrophage biology and the response to TLR agonists. We investigated whether similar cells could be derived from the domestic pig using human rCSF-1 and whether porcine macrophages might represent a better model of human macrophage biology. Cultivation of pig bone marrow cells for 5–7 d in presence of human rCSF-1 generated a pure population of BMDM that expressed the usual macrophage markers (CD14, CD16, and CD172a), were potent phagocytic cells, and produced TNF in response to LPS. Pig BMDM could be generated from bone marrow cells that had been stored frozen and thawed so that multiple experiments can be performed on samples from a single animal. Gene expression in pig BMDM from outbred animals responding to LPS was profiled using Affymetrix microarrays. The temporal cascade of inducible and repressible genes more closely resembled the known responses of human than mouse macrophages, sharing with humans the regulation of genes involved in tryptophan metabolism (IDO, KYN), lymphoattractant chemokines (CCL20, CXCL9, CXCL11, CXCL13), and the vitamin D3-converting enzyme, Cyp27B1. Conversely, in common with published studies of human macrophages, pig BMDM did not strongly induce genes involved in arginine metabolism, nor did they produce NO. These results establish pig BMDM as an alternative tractable model for the study of macrophage transcriptional control.
Functional annotation of genomes is a prerequisite for contemporary basic and applied genomic research, yet farmed animal genomics is deficient in such annotation. To address this, the FAANG (Functional Annotation of Animal Genomes) Consortium is producing genome-wide data sets on RNA expression, DNA methylation, and chromatin modification, as well as chromatin accessibility and interactions. In addition to informing our understanding of genome function, including comparative approaches to elucidate constrained sequence or epigenetic elements, these annotation maps will improve the precision and sensitivity of genomic selection for animal improvement. A scientific community–driven effort has already created a coordinated data collection and analysis enterprise crucial for the success of this global effort. Although it is early in this continuing process, functional data have already been produced and application to genetic improvement reported. The functional annotation delivered by the FAANG initiative will add value and utility to the greatly improved genome sequences being established for domesticated animal species.
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