Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R3029



Summary and Implications

With genetic selection for rapid, lean tissue accretion, pigs are becoming increasingly sensitive to heat stress (HS) due to their physiological limitations such as the lack of functional sweat glands to effectively dissipate heat. Increased respiration rate and reduced feed intake are immediate and conserved biological responses to HS in pigs and other livestock species. Genetic differences in how animals respond to high ambient temperatures have been previously reported, but genetic factors contributing to the response variability remain ill-defined. In this study, porcine high density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) beadchips were used to genotype 236 female pigs who had been exposed to HS conditions, and analyzed to detect chromosomal regions associated with biological responses measured before and after HS, including rectal temperature, respiration rate, feed intake, and body weight loss. We identified significant gene region associations for rectal temperature on SSC12, respiration rate on SSC14 and SSC16, as well as feed efficiency and weight loss on SSC13. Further analyses of these detected regions will likely reveal potential candidate genes and suggest molecular mechanisms contributing to the variability in the biological response of pigs to environmentally-induced hyperthermia.

Copyright Holder

Iowa State University