Open Access Research article

Genome-wide identification of quantitative trait loci in a cross between Hampshire and Landrace II: Meat quality traits

Ellen Markljung1, Martin H Braunschweig23, Peter Karlskov-Mortensen4, Camilla S Bruun4, Milena Sawera45, In-Cheol Cho26, Ingela Hedebro-Velander7, Åsa Josell8, Kerstin Lundström9, Gertrud von Seth10, Claus B Jørgensen4, Merete Fredholm4 and Leif Andersson12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, Box 597, SE-751 24 Uppsala, Sweden

2 Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 597, SE-751 24 Uppsala, Sweden

3 Institute of Genetics, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Berne, Switzerland

4 Department of Animal and Veterinary Basic Sciences, Division of Genetics and Bioinformatics, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark

5 Department of Animal Science, Warsaw Agricultural University, Ciszewskiego 8, 02-786 Warsaw, Poland

6 National Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, R.D.A., 175-6, O-deung dong, Jeju, 690-150, South Korea

7 Quality Genetics, 244 82 Kävlinge, Sweden

8 Ugglarps slakteri AB, PI 91, SE-231 96, Trelleborg, Sweden

9 Department of Food Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7051, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden

10 Tetra Pak Research & Development AB, Ruben Rausings gata, SE-221 86 Lund, Sweden

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BMC Genetics 2008, 9:22  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-9-22

Published: 28 February 2008



Meat quality traits are important in pig breeding programs, but they are difficult to include in a traditional selection program. Marker assisted selection (MAS) of meat quality traits is therefore of interest in breeding programs and a Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL) analysis is the key to identifying markers that can be used in MAS. In this study, Landrace and Hampshire intercross and backcross families were used to investigate meat quality traits. Hampshire pigs are commonly used as the sire line in commercial pig breeding. This is the first time a pedigree including Hampshire pigs has been used for a QTL analysis of meat quality traits.


In total, we analyzed 39 meat quality traits and identified eight genome-wide significant QTL peaks in four regions: one on chromosome 3, two on chromosome 6 and one on chromosome 16. At least two of the QTLs do not appear to have been detected in previous studies. On chromosome 6 we identified QTLs for water content in M. longissimus dorsi (LD), drip loss in LD and post mortem pH decline in LD. On chromosomes 3 and 16 we identified previously undetected QTLs for protein content in LD and for freezing and cooking loss respectively.


We identified at least two new meat quality trait QTLs at the genome-wide significance level. We detected two QTLs on chromosome 6 that possibly coincide with QTLs detected in other studies. We were also able to exclude the C1843T mutation in the ryanodine receptor (RYR1) as a causative mutation for one of the chromosome 6 QTLs in this cross.