Campus Units

Animal Science

Document Type


Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Journal of Animal Science





First Page


Last Page





Although concerns over the environmental impact of excess P in the excreta from pig production and governmental regulations have driven research toward reducing dietary supplementation of P to swine diets for over a decade, recent dramatic increases in feed costs have further motivated researchers to identify means to further reduce dietary P supplementation. We have demonstrated that genetic background impacts P utilization in young pigs and have identified genetic polymorphisms in several target genes related to mineral utilization. In this study, we examined the impact of a SNP in the calcitonin receptor gene (CALCR) on P utilization in growing pigs. In Exp. 1, 36 gilts representing the 3 genotypes identified by this CALCR SNP (11, 12, and 22) were fed a P-adequate (PA) or a marginally P-deficient (approximately 20% less available P; PD) diet for 14 wk. As expected, P deficiency reduced plasma P concentration, bone strength, and mineral content (P < 0.05). However, the dietary P deficiency was mild enough to not affect the growth performance of these pigs. A genotype × dietary P interaction (P < 0.05) was observed in measures of bone integrity and mineral content, with the greatest reduction in bone strength and mineral content due to dietary P deficiency being associated with the allele 1. In Exp. 2, 168 pigs from a control line and low residual feed intake (RFI) line were genotyped for the CALCR SNP and fed a PA diet. As expected, pigs from the low RFI line consumed less feed but also gained less BW when compared with the control line (P < 0.05). Although ADFI did not differ between genotypes, pigs having the 11 genotype gained less BW (P < 0.05) than pigs having the 12 or 22 genotypes. Pigs of the 11 and 12 genotypes had bones that tolerated greater load when compared with animals having the 22 genotype (P < 0.05). A similar trend was observed in bone modulus and ash % (P < 0.10). These data are supportive of the association of this CALCR SNP with bone integrity and its response to dietary P restriction. Although the allele 1 is associated with greater bone integrity and mineral content during adequate P nutrition, it is also associated with the greatest loss in bone integrity and mineral content in response to dietary P restriction. Understanding the underlying genetic mechanisms that regulate P utilization may lead to novel strategies to produce more environmentally friendly pigs.


This is an article from Journal of Animal Science 88 (2010): 1009, doi:10.2527/jas.2008-1730. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

American Society of Animal Science



File Format