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Animal Science

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Scientific Reports



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Arachidonic acid (C20:4) is related to a wide range of biological effects including lipid homeostasis. The fatty acid desaturase-2 (FADS2) gene encodes for the delta-6-desaturase, which is involved in the biosynthesis of C20:4 from linoleic acid (C18:2). The purpose of this study was to characterise mutations in the promoter of the porcine FADS2, evaluating in particular the effect of one haplotype tagging polymorphism (rs321384923A > G) on the biosynthesis pathway of C20:4. A total of 1,192 Duroc barrows with records on fatty acid composition in muscle and subcutaneous fat were genotyped. Pigs carrying the A allele showed, irrespective of fat content, both enhanced FADS2 expression and higher C20:4 in muscle and exhibited increased ratios of C20:4 to C18:2 and of C20:4 to eicosadienoic acid (C20:2) in both muscle and adipose tissue. Despite the inverse relationship observed between C20:4 and fat content, the rs321384923 polymorphism had no impact on lean weight. It is concluded that the haplotype encompassing the rs321384923 polymorphism at the porcine FADS2 affects the n-6 fatty acid profile by specifically modifying the desaturation efficiency of C18:2 to C20:4 rather than by concomitant variations in C18:2 following changes in fat content.


This article is published as Gol, Sofia, Ramona N. Pena, Max F. Rothschild, Marc Tor, and Joan Estany. "A polymorphism in the fatty acid desaturase-2 gene is associated with the arachidonic acid metabolism in pigs." Scientific reports 8 (2018): 14336. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32710-w.

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