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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Allelic variation in the secreted folate binding protein gene is associated with uterine capacity in swine.

Previous comparisons between the cDNA and gene sequences for secreted folate binding protein (sFBP) indicated a 12-bp insertion/deletion (ins/del) polymorphism in exon 1 and a SNP that altered (Ser-Arg) the protein AA sequence. The effect of the Ser-Arg SNP on reproductive traits was examined in three groups of Meishan-White European breed crossbred gilts. The gilts for all three groups were unilaterally hysterectomized-ovariectomized (UHO) at 100 d of age. Group 1 gilts (n = 77) were mated at estrus, slaughtered at d 105 of pregnancy, and a blood sample was collected from each fetus to determine fetal hematocrit. The number of corpora lutea and fetuses and the fetal and placental weights were recorded. Group 2 gilts (n = 46) were mated, the remaining uterine horn was flushed with 20 mL of saline on d 11 of pregnancy, conceptuses were counted, and flushings were measured for total sFBP. Gilts were allowed an estrous cycle to recover, mated again at estrus, slaughtered at 105 d of gestation, and the data as described for Group 1 were collected. Groups 1 and 2 gilts were genotyped for the Ser-Arg SNP. In Group 3, gilts (n = 70) and boars (n = 30) were genotyped for the Ser-Arg SNP before mating, and like genotypes were mated. Gilts were then treated as described for Group 2. The effect of the 12-bp ins/del on reproductive traits was examined in 407 white crossbred UHO gilts from a randomly selected control line and from lines selected for ovulation rate (OR) and uterine capacity ( UC). Gilts were mated and slaughtered at 105 d of age, and the numbers of corpora lutea and live fetuses, and fetal and placental weights and fetal hematocrits were recorded. The 12-bp ins/del also was evaluated in 131 intact gilts from the OR selected line. These gilts were mated at approximately 250 d of age and farrowed. The numbers of fully formed and live piglets were recorded. A significant effect (P < 0.05) of the Ser-Arg SNP was detected on the number of embryos present on d 11 of pregnancy and on UC. The sFBP 12-bp ins/del was associated with UC (P < 0.01) and the number of CL (P < 0.05) in UHO gilts, but not with litter size in intact gilts from the OR line. Results suggest that the 12-bp ins/del polymorphism could be exploited to increase litter size in swine, provided that the negative effect of the polymorphism on OR is overcome.[1]


  1. Allelic variation in the secreted folate binding protein gene is associated with uterine capacity in swine. Vallet, J.L., Freking, B.A., Leymaster, K.A., Christenson, R.K. J. Anim. Sci. (2005) [Pubmed]
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