Identification of high utility SNPs for population assignment and traceability purposes in the pig using high-throughput sequencing

A. M. Ramos, H. J. Megens, R. P.M.A. Crooijmans, L. B. Schook, M. A.M. Groenen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Summary The objectives of this study were to develop breed-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in five pig breeds sequenced with Illumina's Genome Analyzer and to investigate their usefulness for breed assignment purposes. DNA pools were prepared for Duroc, Landrace, Large White, Pietrain and Wild Boar. The total number of animals used for sequencing was 153. SNP discovery was performed by aligning the filtered reads against Build 7 of the pig genome. A total of 313 964 high confidence SNPs were identified and analysed for the presence of breed-specific SNPs (defined in this context as SNPs for which one of the alleles was detected in only one breed). There were 29 146 putative breed-specific SNPs identified, of which 4441 were included in the PorcineSNP60 beadchip. Upon re-examining the genotypes obtained using the beadchip, 193 SNPs were confirmed as being breed specific. These 193 SNPs were subsequently used to assign an additional 490 individuals from the same breeds, using the sequenced individuals as reference populations. In total, four breed assignment tests were performed. Results showed that for all methods tested 99% of the animals were correctly assigned, with an average probability of assignment of at least 99.2%, indicating the high utility of breed-specific markers for breed assignment and traceability. This study provides a blueprint for the way next-generation sequencing technologies can be used for the identification of breed-specific SNPs, as well as evidence that these SNPs may be a powerful tool for breed assignment and traceability of animal products to their breeds of origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-620
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • assignment test
  • breed-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms
  • next-generation sequencing
  • pig
  • traceability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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