Scientific reports

Convergent and divergent genetic changes in the genome of Chinese and European pigs.

PMID 28819228


Since 10,000 BC, continuous human selection has led to intense genetic and phenotypic changes in pig (Sus scrofa) domestication. Through whole genome analysis of 257 individuals, we demonstrated artificial unidirectional and bidirectional selection as the primary force to shape the convergent and divergent changes between Chinese domestic pigs (CHD) and European domestic pigs (EUD). We identified 31 genes in unidirectional selection regions that might be related to fundamental domestication requirements in pigs. And these genes belong predominantly to categories related to the nervous system, muscle development, and especially to metabolic diseases. In addition, 35 genes, representing different breeding preference, were found under bidirectional selection for the distinct leanness and reproduction traits between CHD and EUD. The convergent genetic changes, contributing physical and morphological adaption, represent the common concerns on pig domestication. And the divergent genetic changes reflect distinct breeding goals between Chinese and European pigs. Using ITPR3, AHR and NMU as examples, we explored and validated how the genetic variations contribute to the phenotype changes.