Association of osteopontin gene with intramuscular fat content and fatty acid composition traits in pigs

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Nanthana Pothakam
Worrarak Norseeda
Guisheng Liu
Tawatchai Teltathum
Pantaporn Supakankul
Watcharapong Naraballobh
Trisadee Khamlor
Korawan Sringarm
Supamit Mekchay


Osteopontin (OPN) is a secreted phosphoprotein that is involved in the development of skeletal muscle and fat deposition.
The objectives of this study were to identify the polymorphism of the OPN gene and to analyze the association of the OPN
gene with intramuscular fat (IMF) content and fatty acid (FA) composition in pigs. Longissimus thoracis (LT) muscle
samples taken from the 10-11th rib were collected from a total of 328 Duroc pigs. Genomic DNA samples were extracted
from LT muscle tissues using the phenol-chloroform method. IMF content was measured using the ether extraction
method and FA composition was measured by gas chromatography. The porcine OPN polymorphisms were identified
by DNA sequencing and were genotyped using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism
(PCR-RFLP) method. The association analysis of the OPN gene with IMF and FA composition traits was performed
using a general linear model (GLM). Two polymorphic sites (OPN g.2442-2471indel and g.3836A>G) were found in
the 5´-flanking region and intron 1 of the porcine OPN gene. The OPN g.2442-2471indel polymorphism was found to be
significantly associated with IMF content and ω3 FA levels (P<0.05). Moreover, OPN g.3836A>G polymorphism was
significantly associated with the linolenic acid levels in the muscles of pigs (P<0.05). The results of this study indicate that
the OPN gene is important to IMF content, as well as linolenic and ω3 FA levels in pigs, and could be used as a candidate
gene to improve fat deposition and fatty acid composition in the muscles of pigs.


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Pothakam, N. ., Norseeda, W. ., Liu, G. ., Teltathum, T. ., Supakankul, P. ., Naraballobh, W. ., Khamlor, T. ., Sringarm, K. ., & Mekchay, S. . (2021). Association of osteopontin gene with intramuscular fat content and fatty acid composition traits in pigs: Veterinary Integrative Sciences, 19(2), 197–208. Retrieved from
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