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A correlation study of boar taint-related genes, boar taint substances and sex hormones in Bama miniature pigs at different ages

Q. H. Wang1,2, J. Y. Chen3, K. N. Guo1, X. B. Zheng2, Q. Wu4, H. Wei*1 and Y. Liu*1
Department of Laboratory Animal Science, College of Basic Medical Science,Third Military Medical University, Shapingba, Chongqing 400038, China.

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The Bama miniature pig (Sus scrofa domestica), endemic in China,which is characterized by its small size and specific meat flavor. The evaluation of pork quality is closely related to boar taint. However, there are no published studies of boar taint in Bama miniature pigs. In this study, the correlation between mRNA expression of boar taint-related genes,boar taint substances (androstenone and skatole) and sex hormones (testosterone, estradiol) of Bama miniature pigs at consecutive ages were examined. We found a gradual increase of mRNA (CYP2E1, CYP2A19, CYP2C34, and COUP-TF1) expression in the livers of pigs aged from birth to 6 months of age. The mRNA expression of COUP-TF1 and CYP2C34 peaked at 12 months old. However, the mRNA expression of CYP2E1 and CYP2A19 declined after 6 months age. The mRNA expression of CYP11A1, CYP17A1, StAR, and COUP-TF1 was stable over time in the testicle of Bama miniature pig. However, a substantial increase in their relative expression levels was observed before sexual maturity. Boar age was positively correlated to sex hormone (testosterone, estradiol) and boar taint substances (androstenone, skatole). There is in vivo gene regulation in boars that controls the relationship between boar taint substances and sex hormones. In addition, CYP11A1, CYP17A1, StAR, and sex hormones (testosterone, estradiol) can be used as markers for low boar taint study. Our study elucidated the correlation of boar taint-related genes,boar taint substances and sex hormones. These results have provided reference for applied research using Bama miniature pigs as a model for livestock production.
Androstenone, Bama miniature pig, Boar taint, Gene expression, Skatole.
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