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Animal biotechnology

Examination of testicular gene expression patterns in Yorkshire pigs with high and low levels of boar taint.


PMID 20379884

Abstract

Boar taint refers to the objectionable odor and flavor in meat of some uncastrated male pigs, which is primarily due to high levels of androstenone, a steroid produced in the testis, and 3-methylindole (skatole) which is produced by bacterial degradation of tryptophan in the intestinal tract. We determined testicular gene expression patterns of Yorkshire pigs with high and low levels of boar taint using swine DNA microarrays with two-color hybridization. The microarrays contained 19486 annotated probes; the expressions of 8719 genes were detected. Fifty-three genes were significantly up-regulated in the high boar taint group and four were significantly down-regulated (p < 0.05; fold change > +/-1.55). Gene ontology (GO) analysis short-listed 11 significant GO terms (p < 0.05), most of which are associated with steroid metabolism and mitochondrial components. Comparing the results of this study with published work on Duroc and Norwegian Landrace boars,(1) eleven genes (HSB17B4, FDX1, CYP11A1, DHRS4, PRDX1, CYB5, CYP17A1, FTL, IDI1, SULT2A1, and RDH12) were over-expressed in all three breeds with a high androstenone level. The current findings confirmed a number of candidate genes identified in previous functional studies and suggest several new genes differentially expressed with different levels of boar taint.

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