Artificial selection on introduced Asian haplotypes shaped the genetic architecture in european commercial pigs

Mirte Bosse*, Marcos Soares Lopes, Ole Madsen, Hendrik Jan Megens, Richard P.M.A. Crooijmans, Laurent A.F. Frantz, Barbara Harlizius, John W.M. Bastiaansen, Martien A.M. Groenen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Early pig farmers in Europe importedAsian pigs to cross with their local breeds in order to improve traits of commercial interest. Current genomics techniques enabled genome-wide identification of these Asian introgressed haplotypes in modern European pig breeds.We propose that the Asian variants are still present because they affect phenotypes thatwere important for ancient traditional, as well as recent, commercial pig breeding. Genome-wide introgression levels were only weakly correlated with gene content and recombination frequency. However, regions with an excess or absence of Asian haplotypes (AS) contained genes that were previously identified as phenotypically important such as FASN, ME1, and KIT. Therefore, the Asian alleles are thought to have an effect on phenotypes thatwere historically under selection.We aimed to estimate the effect of AS in introgressed regions in Large White pigs on the traits of backfat (BF) and litter size. The majority of regions we tested that retained Asian deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) showed significantly increased BF from the Asian alleles. Our results suggest that the introgression in Large White pigs has been strongly determined by the selective pressure acting upon the introgressed AS. We therefore conclude that human-driven hybridization and selection contributed to the genomic architecture of these commercial pigs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20152019
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society. B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1821
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Adaptive introgression
  • Commercial breeding
  • Domestication
  • Hybridization
  • Selection
  • Sus scrofa


Dive into the research topics of 'Artificial selection on introduced Asian haplotypes shaped the genetic architecture in european commercial pigs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this