Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Chinese prefer darker-skinned pigs and MC1R tells part of the story

I'm not yet able to get full text access to this paper, but after looking into the related literature, I was suprised to see that there is quite a lot out there. Given that variation in MC1R was selected upon to lighten skin in Europeans, I was somewhat surprised to see the opposite happen in pigs.
Spaniards also like black pigs.
By the way, I'm not too fond of the term "artificial" in this type of context.

Artificial selection of the melanocortin receptor 1 gene in Chinese domestic pigs during domestication.
Li J, Yang H, Li JR, Li HP, Ning T, Pan XR, Shi P, Zhang YP
Heredity. 2010 Feb 24. [Epub ahead of print]
Abstract: Black coat colour is common in Chinese indigenous domestic pigs, but not among their wild ancestors, and it is thus presumed to be a 'domestication trait.' To determine whether artificial interference contributes to morphological diversification, we examined nucleotide variation from 157 Chinese domestic pigs and 40 wild boars in the melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R) gene, which has a key role in the coat pigmentation of Sus scrofa. Compared with a pseudogene GPIP, our results showed that the joint effects of demography and selection have resulted in markedly low genetic diversity of MC1R in Chinese domestic pigs. Coalescent simulation and selection tests further suggest that the fixation of two non-synonymous substitutions associated with black colour is the result of artificial selection. In contrast, a much higher genetic diversity and only a single non-synonymous substitution were found among the wild boars, suggesting a strong functional constraint. Moreover, our conclusion is consistent with the preference for black colour in the ancient Chinese sacrificial culture. This case provides an interesting example of a molecular evaluation of artificial livestock selection and its associated cultural impact in ancient China.


オテモヤン said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Generic Viagra For Men said...

Interesting information given about Dark pig. Thanks for sharing this informative information ..

Locations of visitors to this page