Open Access Research article

Application of alternative models to identify QTL for growth traits in an F2 Duroc x Pietrain pig resource population

Igseo Choi, Juan P Steibel, Ronald O Bates, Nancy E Raney, Janice M Rumph and Catherine W Ernst*

Author Affiliations

Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA

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BMC Genetics 2010, 11:97  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-11-97

Published: 1 November 2010



A variety of analysis approaches have been applied to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL) in experimental populations. The initial genome scan of our Duroc x Pietrain F2 resource population included 510 F2 animals genotyped with 124 microsatellite markers and analyzed using a line-cross model. For the second scan, 20 additional markers on 9 chromosomes were genotyped for 954 F2 animals and 20 markers used in the first scan were genotyped for 444 additional F2 animals. Three least-squares Mendelian models for QTL analysis were applied for the second scan: a line-cross model, a half-sib model, and a combined line-cross and half-sib model.


In total, 26 QTL using the line-cross model, 12 QTL using the half-sib model and 3 additional QTL using the combined line-cross and half-sib model were detected for growth traits with a 5% false discovery rate (FDR) significance level. In the line-cross analysis, highly significant QTL for fat deposition at 10-, 13-, 16-, 19-, and 22-wk of age were detected on SSC6. In the half-sib analysis, a QTL for loin muscle area at 19-wk of age was detected on SSC7 and QTL for 10th-rib backfat at 19- and 22-wk of age were detected on SSC15.


Additional markers and animals contributed to reduce the confidence intervals and increase the test statistics for QTL detection. Different models allowed detection of new QTL which indicated differing frequencies for alternative alleles in parental breeds.