Linkage disequilibrium patterns and persistence of phase in purebred and crossbred pig (Sus scrofa) populations

R. Veroneze, J.W.M. Bastiaansen, E.F. Knol, S.E.F. Guimaraes, F.F. Silva, B. Harlizius, M.S. Lopes, P.S. Lopes

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Background Genomic selection and genomic wide association studies are widely used methods that aim to exploit the linkage disequilibrium (LD) between markers and quantitative trait loci (QTL). Securing a sufficiently large set of genotypes and phenotypes can be a limiting factor that may be overcome by combining data from multiple breeds or using crossbred information. However, the estimated effect of a marker in one breed or a crossbred can only be useful for the selection of animals in another breed if there is a correspondence of the phase between the marker and the QTL across breeds. Using data of five pure pig (Sus scrofa) lines (SL1, SL2, SL3, DL1, DL2), one F1 cross (DLF1) and two commercial finishing crosses (TER1 and TER2), the objectives of this study were: (i) to compare the equality of LD decay curves of different pig populations; and (ii) to evaluate the persistence of the LD phase across lines or final crosses. Results Almost all of the lines presented different extents of LD, except for the SL2 and DL3, both of which exhibited the same extent of LD. Similar levels of LD over large distances were found in crossbred and pure lines. The crossbred animals (DLF1, TER1 and TER2) presented a high persistence of phase with their parental lines, suggesting that the available porcine single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip should be dense enough to include markers that have the same LD phase with QTL across crossbred and parental pure lines. The persistence of phase across pure lines varied considerably between the different line comparisons; however, correlations were above 0.8 for all line comparisons when marker distances were smaller than 50 kb. Conclusions This study showed that crossbred populations could be very useful as a reference for the selection of pure lines by means of the available SNP chip panel. Here, we also pinpoint pure lines that could be combined in a multiline training population. However, if multiline reference populations are used for genomic selection, the required density of SNP panels should be higher compared with a single breed reference population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number126
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Genetics
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • haplotype block structure
  • genomic selection
  • accuracy
  • breeds
  • cattle
  • wide
  • prediction
  • diversity
  • genetics
  • extent

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    Veroneze, R., Bastiaansen, J. W. M., Knol, E. F., Guimaraes, S. E. F., Silva, F. F., Harlizius, B., Lopes, M. S., & Lopes, P. S. (2014). Linkage disequilibrium patterns and persistence of phase in purebred and crossbred pig (Sus scrofa) populations. BMC Genetics, 15, [126].