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Genetic structure of wild boar (Sus scrofa) populations from East Asia based on microsatellite loci analyses

Sung Kyoung Choi1, Ji-Eun Lee1, Young-Jun Kim2, Mi-Sook Min1, Inna Voloshina3, Alexander Myslenkov3, Jang Geun Oh4, Tae-Hun Kim5, Nickolay Markov6, Ivan Seryodkin7, Naotaka Ishiguro8, Li Yu9, Ya-Ping Zhang10, Hang Lee1* and Kyung Seok Kim111*

Author Affiliations

1 College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2 National Institute of Ecology, Seocheon-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, Republic of Korea

3 Lazovsky State Nature Reserve, Lazo, Primorsky Krai, Russia

4 Research Institute for Hallasan, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, Jeju, Republic of Korea

5 Division of Animal Genomics and Bioinformatics, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea

6 Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology Urals Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Yekaterinburg, Russia

7 Pacific Geographical Institute Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, Russia

8 Laboratory of Food and Environmental Hygiene, Veterinary Medicine, Gifu University, Gifu, Japan

9 Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Bio-resource and Key Laboratory for Microbial Resources of the Ministry of Education, Yunnan University, Kunming, China

10 State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China

11 Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA

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BMC Genetics 2014, 15:85  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-15-85

Published: 17 July 2014



Wild boar, Sus scrofa, is an extant wild ancestor of the domestic pig as an agro-economically important mammal. Wild boar has a worldwide distribution with its geographic origin in Southeast Asia, but genetic diversity and genetic structure of wild boar in East Asia are poorly understood. To characterize the pattern and amount of genetic variation and population structure of wild boar in East Asia, we genotyped and analyzed microsatellite loci for a total of 238 wild boar specimens from ten locations across six countries in East and Southeast Asia.


Our data indicated that wild boar populations in East Asia are genetically diverse and structured, showing a significant correlation of genetic distance with geographic distance and implying a low level of gene flow at a regional scale. Bayesian-based clustering analysis was indicative of seven inferred genetic clusters in which wild boars in East Asia are geographically structured. The level of genetic diversity was relatively high in wild boars from Southeast Asia, compared with those from Northeast Asia. This gradient pattern of genetic diversity is consistent with an assumed ancestral population of wild boar in Southeast Asia. Genetic evidences from a relationship tree and structure analysis suggest that wild boar in Jeju Island, South Korea have a distinct genetic background from those in mainland Korea.


Our results reveal a diverse pattern of genetic diversity and the existence of genetic differentiation among wild boar populations inhabiting East Asia. This study highlights the potential contribution of genetic variation of wild boar to the high genetic diversity of local domestic pigs during domestication in East Asia.

Microsatellites; East Asia; Genetic diversity; Genetic structure; Wild boar