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Open Access Research article

Recombinational landscape of porcine X chromosome and individual variation in female meiotic recombination associated with haplotypes of Chinese pigs

Junwu Ma12, Nathalie Iannuccelli1, Yanyu Duan2, Weibing Huang2, Beili Guo2, Juliette Riquet1, Lusheng Huang2* and Denis Milan1*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratoire de Génétique Cellulaire, INRA, BP52627, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France

2 Key Laboratory for Animal Biotechnology of Jiangxi Province and the Ministry of Agriculture of China, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang 330045, China

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BMC Genomics 2010, 11:159  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-159

Published: 9 March 2010



Variations in recombination fraction (θ) among chromosomal regions, individuals and families have been observed and have an important impact on quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping studies. Such variations on porcine chromosome X (SSC-X) and on other mammalian chromosome X are rarely explored. The emerging assembly of pig sequence provides exact physical location of many markers, facilitating the study of a fine-scale recombination landscape of the pig genome by comparing a clone-based physical map to a genetic map. Using large offspring of F1 females from two large-scale resource populations (Large White ♂ × Chinese Meishan ♀, and White Duroc ♂ × Chinese Erhualian ♀), we were able to evaluate the heterogeneity in θ for a specific interval among individual F1 females.


Alignments between the cytogenetic map, radiation hybrid (RH) map, genetic maps and clone map of SSC-X with the physical map of human chromosome X (HSA-X) are presented. The most likely order of 60 markers on SSC-X is inferred. The average recombination rate across SSC-X is of ~1.27 cM/Mb. However, almost no recombination occurred in a large region of ~31 Mb extending from the centromere to Xq21, whereas in the surrounding regions and in the Xq telomeric region a recombination rate of 2.8-3.3 cM/Mb was observed, more than twice the chromosome-wide average rate. Significant differences in θ among F1 females within each population were observed for several chromosomal intervals. The largest variation was observed in both populations in the interval UMNP71-SW1943, or more precisely in the subinterval UMNP891-UMNP93. The individual variation in θ over this subinterval was found associated with F1 females' maternal haplotypes (Chinese pig haplotypes) and independent of paternal haplotype (European pig haplotypes). The θ between UMNP891 and UMNP93 for haplotype 1122 and 4311 differed by more than fourteen-fold (10.3% vs. 0.7%).


This study reveals marked regional, individual and haplotype-specific differences in recombination rate on SSC-X. Lack of recombination in such a large region makes it impossible to narrow QTL interval using traditional fine-mapping approaches. The relationship between recombination variation and haplotype polymorphism is shown for the first time in pigs.