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This study was aimed at identifying genomic regions controlling feeding behavior in Danish Duroc boars and its potential implications for eating behavior in humans. Data regarding individual daily feed intake (DFI), total daily time spent in feeder (TPD), number of daily visits to feeder (NVD), average duration of each visit (TPV), mean feed intake per visit (FPV) and mean feed intake rate (FR) were available for 1130 boars. All boars were genotyped using the Illumina Porcine SNP60 BeadChip. The association analyses were performed using the GenABEL package in the R program. Sixteen SNPs were found to have moderate genome-wide significance (p<5E-05) and 76 SNPs had suggestive (p<5E-04) association with feeding behavior traits. MSI2 gene on chromosome (SSC) 14 was very strongly associated with NVD. Thirty-six SNPs were located in genome regions where QTLs have previously been reported for behavior and/or feed intake traits in pigs. The regions: 64-65 Mb on SSC 1, 124-130 Mb on SSC 8, 63-68 Mb on SSC 11, 32-39 Mb and 59-60 Mb on SSC 12 harbored several signifcant SNPs. Synapse genes (GABRR2, PPP1R9B, SYT1, GABRR1, CADPS2, DLGAP2 and GOPC), dephosphorylation genes (PPM1E, DAPP1, PTPN18, PTPRZ1, PTPN4, MTMR4 and RNGTT) and positive regulation of peptide secretion genes (GHRH, NNAT and TCF7L2) were highly significantly associated with feeding behavior traits. This is the first GWAS to identify genetic variants and biological mechanisms for eating behavior in pigs and these results are important for genetic improvement of pig feed efficiency. We have also conducted pig-human comparative gene mapping to reveal key genomic regions and/or genes on the human genome that may influence eating behavior in human beings and consequently affect the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome. This is the first translational genomics study of its kind to report potential candidate genes for eating behavior in humans.


Duy Ngoc Do, Anders Bjerring Strathe, Tage Ostersen, Just Jensen, Thomas Mark, Haja N Kadarmideen. Genome-wide association study reveals genetic architecture of eating behavior in pigs and its implications for humans obesity by comparative mapping. PloS one. 2013;8(8):e71509

PMID: 23977060

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