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Estimating the frequency of Asian cytochrome B haplotypes in standard European and local Spanish pig breeds

Abstract

Mitochondrial DNA has been widely used to perform phylogenetic studies in different animal species. In pigs, genetic variability at the cytochrome B gene and the D-loop region has been used as a tool to dissect the genetic relationships between different breeds and populations. In this work, we analysed four SNP at the cytochrome B gene to infer the Asian (A1 and A2 haplotypes) or European (E1 and E2 haplotypes) origins of several European standard and local pig breeds. We found a mixture of Asian and European haplotypes in the Canarian Black pig (E1, A1 and A2), German Piétrain (E1, A1 and A2), Belgian Piétrain (E1, A1), Large White (E1 and A1) and Landrace (E1 and A1) breeds. In contrast, the Iberian (Guadyerbas, Ervideira, Caldeira, Campanario, Puebla and Torbiscal strains) and the Majorcan Black pig breeds only displayed the E1 haplotype. Our results show that the introgression of Chinese pig breeds affected most of the major European standard breeds, which harbour Asian haplotypes at diverse frequencies (15–56%). In contrast, isolated local Spanish breeds, such as the Iberian and Majorcan Black pig, only display European cytochrome B haplotypes, a feature that evidences that they were not crossed with other Chinese or European commercial populations. These findings illustrate how geographical confinement spared several local Spanish breeds from the extensive introgression event that took place during the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe.

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Correspondence to Armand Sànchez.

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Keywords

  • mitochondria
  • cytochrome B
  • pig breeds
  • Asian and European haplotypes
  • introgression