Open Access Research article

A locally congenic backcross design in pig: a new regional fine QTL mapping approach miming congenic strains used in mouse

Juliette Riquet1*, Hélène Gilbert2, Bertrand Servin1, Marie-Pierre Sanchez2, Nathalie Iannuccelli1, Yvon Billon3, Jean-Pierre Bidanel2 and Denis Milan1

Author Affiliations

1 INRA, UMR 444 Laboratoire de Génétique Cellulaire, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France

2 INRA, UMR1313 Génétique Animale et Biologie Intégrative, 78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France

3 INRA, UE967 Génétique Expérimentale en Productions Animales, 17700 Surgères, France

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BMC Genetics 2011, 12:6  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-12-6

Published: 14 January 2011



In previous studies, a major QTL affecting fatness and growth has been mapped to pig chromosome 1q (SSC1q) using Large White - Meishan intercrosses. A higher fat depth and a larger growth rate have been reported for the allele of MS origin. Additionally the LW allele showed partial dominance effects over the MS allele for both traits. In order to refine the QTL mapping interval, advanced backcross generations were produced. Recombinant heterozygous sires were mated to LW sows in order to progeny test the sire segregation of the QTL and refine the QTL localisation. However due to the partial dominance of the LW allele, BC scheme using LW as the receiving population was not optimal.


To overcome the difficulties related to the dominance of the LW QTL allele, a population of dams locally homozygous for the MS haplotype in the QTL region, but with an overall 29/32 LW genetic background, has been set up. Progeny testing results, using these receiver dams, were much more significant than those previously obtained with LW dams, and the SSC1 QTL interval was refined to 8 cM. Considering the results obtained, a powerful experimental design for farm animals is proposed, mimicking locally genetically identical strains used in mouse for QTL fine mapping.


We have further characterized the fatness QTL on pig chromosome 1 and refined its map position from a 30 cM interval to a 8 cM interval, using a locally congenic BC design. We have obtained highly significant results and overcome difficulties due to the dominance of the LW allele. This design will be used to produce additional, advanced BC families to further refine this QTL localization.