Background: The genetic improvement of disease resistance in pig has been well-received. Identification of a quantitative trait locus (QTL) related to a chronic respiratory disease such as Mycoplasmal pneumonia of swine (MPS) and immune-related traits is important for understanding the genomic background of disease resistance and to apply marker-assisted selection. The objective of this study was to understand the influence of genomic factors on respiratory disease and immune-related traits in MPS-selected pigs.
Results: A total of 874 Landrace purebred pigs, which were selected based on MPS resistance, were genotyped using the Illumina PorcineSNP60 BeadChip, and were then used for genomic analyses. First, we performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to detect a novel QTL for a total of 22 performance, respiratory disease, and immune-related traits using additive and nonadditive genetic effects. Second, we evaluated the changes in allele frequency due to selection for MPS resistance and compared the putative selected regions with the detected QTL. GWAS detected a total of 11 genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with an additive effect in five traits and a total of three significant SNPs with a nonadditive effect in three traits. Most of these detected QTL regions were novel regions with some candidate genes located in them. With regard to a pleiotropic region among traits, only five of these detected QTL regions overlapped among traits. Changes in allele frequencies at the many putative selected regions were spread across the whole genome and overlapped with the detected QTL. Some of these selected regions were the ones that contained the detected QTL for MPS score and other traits.
Conclusion: These results suggest that a closed-line breeding population is a useful target population to refine and confirm QTL regions by integrating the results of GWAS and allele frequency changes. The study provides new insights into the genomic factors that affect respiratory disease and immune-related traits in pigs.