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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Livestock Bio-Systems » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #300430

Title: AVPR1A alleles are pleiotropic sources of variation in age at puberty and reproductive longevity in sows

item TRENHAILE, MELANIE - University Of Nebraska
item LUCOT, KATHERINE - University Of Nebraska
item TART, JULIE - University Of Nebraska
item BUNDY, JUSTIN - University Of Nebraska
item Thorson, Jennifer
item KEUTER, ELIZABETH - University Of Nebraska
item WOOD, JENNIFER - University Of Nebraska
item ROTHSCHILD, MAX - Iowa State University
item Rohrer, Gary
item MILLER, PHILLIP - University Of Nebraska
item SPANGLER, MATTHEW - University Of Nebraska
item Lents, Clay
item JOHNSON, RODGER - University Of Nebraska
item KACHMAN, STEPHEN - University Of Nebraska
item CIOBANU, DANIEL - University Of Nebraska

Submitted to: Midwestern Section of the American Society of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/22/2014
Publication Date: 3/1/2014
Citation: Trenhaile, M.D., Lucot, K.L., Tart, J.K., Bundy, J.W., Thorson, J.F., Keuter, E.M., Wood, J.R., Rothschild, M.F., Rohrer, G.A., Miller, P.S., Spangler, M.L., Lents, C.A., Johnson, R.K., Kachman, S.D., Ciobanu, D.C. 2014. AVPR1A alleles are pleiotropic sources of variation in age at puberty and reproductive longevity in sows [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science. 92(Supplement 2):12 (Abstract #27).

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Age at puberty is a moderately heritable trait and an early indicator of sow reproductive longevity. Gilts that express first estrus early in life are characterized by improved reproductive longevity and lifetime productivity. These traits are dependent on the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, and their variation is expected to be affected by the same genes. Genome wide association uncovered a region on SSC5 (27-28 Mb) that explained the phenotypic variation of both age at puberty and lifetime number of parities. The main candidate in this region is arginine vasopressin receptor 1A (AVPR1A), which is involved in biological processes associated with reproductive and social behavior. The GG genotype of a non-synonymous SNP located in AVPR1A (G31E) was associated with a 4.6 d earlier expression of first estrus compared with genotype AA (P < 0.05) and 3.0 d earlier expression compared with genotype AG (P < 0.08). The GG genotype was also associated with 0.51 more lifetime parities than AA genotype (P < 0.006) and 0.31 more parities than AG genotype (P < 0.06). Irrespective of the expression of first estrus, sows with the GG genotype had a higher probability to generate first and second parities compared to sows with AA and AG genotypes (P <0.05). AVPR1A was expressed in the hypothalamic region, pituitary, granulosa cells, and ovarian cortex. Sequencing AVPR1A in crossbred gilts exhibiting puberty early (134-149 d, n=8) and late (219-243 d, n=8) uncovered two novel non-synonymous SNPs (G256D and K377Q). SNP G256D is located in the third intracellular loop of AVPR1A and was in complete linkage disequilibrium with G31E, located in the extracellular NH2-terminus. The NH2-terminus has a role in agonist binding and intracellular signaling. The SNP K377Q is located at the C-terminus known to be involved in coordinating protein interactions with AVPR1A. A 0.19 difference in allelic frequency was observed between gilts that expressed puberty early and late for G31E and G256D compared to 0.06 for K377Q. The frequency of the favorable allele A from G31E increased from 0.42 in the group of gilts that were not able to generate a litter to 0.54 in the sows that generated 3 parities. These differences suggest that selection based on SNPs such as G31E and G256D have the potential to reduce age at puberty and improve reproductive longevity, leading to an increase in sow net values in commercial herds.