Distinctive Genes Determine Different Intramuscular Fat and Muscle Fiber Ratios of the longissimus dorsi Muscles in Jinhua and Landrace Pigs

Wu, Ting; Zhang, Zhenhai; Yuan, Zhanqin; Lo, Li Jan; Chen, Jun; Wang, Yizhen; Peng, Jinrong

Meat quality is determined by properties such as carcass color, tenderness and drip loss. These properties are closely associated with meat composition, which includes the types of muscle fiber and content of intramuscular fat (IMF). Muscle fibers are the main contributors to meat mass, while IMF not only contributes to the sensory properties but also to the plethora of physical, chemical and technological properties of meat. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that determine meat composition in different pig breeds. In this report we show that Jinhua pigs, a Chinese breed, contains much higher levels of IMF than do Landrace pigs, a Danish breed. We analyzed global gene expression profiles in the longissimus dorsi muscles in Jinhua and Landrace breeds at the ages of 30, 90 and 150 days. Cross-comparison analysis revealed that genes that regulate fatty acid biosynthesis (e.g., fatty acid synthase and stearoyl-CoA desaturase) are expressed at higher levels in Jinhua pigs whereas those that regulate myogenesis (e.g., myogenic factor 6 and forkhead box O1) are expressed at higher levels in Landrace pigs. Among those genes which are highly expressed in Jinhua pigs at 90 days (d90), we identified a novel gene porcine FLJ36031 (pFLJ), which functions as a positive regulator of fat deposition in cultured intramuscular adipocytes. In summary, our data showed that the up-regulation of fatty acid biosynthesis regulatory genes such as pFLJ and myogenesis inhibitory genes such as myostatin in the longissimus dorsi muscles of Jinhua pigs could explain why this local breed produces meat with high levels of IMF.


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Academic Units
Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Public Library of Science
Published Here
February 27, 2017