Association Between the Prolactin Receptor Gene and Reproductive Components in Swine


B.J. Isler1, K.M. Irvin1, M.F. Rothschild2 & G.J. Evans3

1The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA;

2Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA and 3PIC Group, Cambridge, UK


Previous studies by Iowa State University and PIC have shown the prolactin receptor (PRLR) gene to be positively associated with litter traits in swine. In the current study, the PRLR was investigated as a potential candidate gene influencing reproductive components in swine. A total of 46 Yorkshire, 27 Large White, and 69 crossbred females were genotyped at the PRLR locus and classified as genotype 11, 12, or 22. Females were mated to Hampshire boars and slaughtered at approximately 75 days of gestation. Data collected from gravid uterine tracts included ovulation rate, uterine weight, uterine horn length, number of fetuses, total fetal weight, average fetal weight, number of mummies, fetal space, and fetal survival. Data were analyzed using a model that included the fixed effects of PRLR genotype, parity, breed, and all significant two-way interactions. For several traits, fixed effect of horn was added to the model to determine the presence of between horn effects. PRLR genotype was found to influence (P < 0.1) number of fetuses per horn, average fetal weight, and total fetal weight. For each of these traits, allele 2 conferred a performance advantage over allele 1. Animals with the 22 genotype had a larger (P < 0.1) average fetal weight per horn and number of fetuses per horn (369.7 6.7g, 5.41 0.2) than animals with the 11 genotype (347.7 9.7g, 4.81 0.3). PRLR genotype also displayed a favorable, but statistically nonsignificant, trend with respect to fetal survival. The PRLR gene is favorably associated with several reproductive tract traits. A patent has been issued for the use of this gene to improve reproductive traits. This abstract was originally presented at the 27th International Conference on Animal Genetics in Minneapolis, MN on July 22-26, 2000.


Key words: Swine, candidate gene, reproductive traits, prolactin receptor

Originally presented at the 27th International Conference on Animal Genetics,
Minneapolis, MN July 22-26, 2000

2000 NSIF Proceedings