Data released on May 14, 2018
Meishan is a pig breed indigenous to China and famous for its high fecundity. The traits of Meishan strongly associated with its distinct evolutionary history and domestication. However, the genomic evidence linking the domestication of Meishan pigs with the unique features are still poorly understood. The goal of this study is to investigate the genomic signatures an d evolutionary evidence related to phenotypic traits of Meishan by large-scale sequencing.
We found the unique domestication of Meishan pigs happened at Taihu Basin area between the Majiabang and the Liangzhu culture, during which 300 protein-coding genes have undergone positive selection. Notably, the FoxO signaling pathway with significant enrichment signal and the harbored gene IGF1R were likely associated with high fertility of Meishan pig. Moreover, NFKB1 exhibited strong selective sweep signals and positively participated in hyaluronan biosynthesis as the key gene of KF-kB signaling, which might have resulted in the wrinkled skin and face of Meishan pig. Particularly, three population-specific synonymous single nucleotide variants (SNVs) occurred in PYROXD1, MC1R, and FAM83G genes, of which T305C substitution in the MCIR gene explained the black coat in Meishan pig well. In addition, the shared haplotypes between Meishan and Duroc breeds confirmed the previous Asian-derived introgression and demonstrated the specific contribution of Meishan pigs.
The findings will help us explain the unique genetic and phenotypic characteristics of Meishan pigs, and offer a plausible method for the utilization of Meishan pigs as valuable genetic resources in pig breeding, and as the model animal for human wrinkled skin disease research.