Candidate genes and gene markers for the resistance to porcine pleuropneumonia
Actinobacillus (A.) pleuropneumoniae is one of the most important respiratory pathogens in global pig production. Antimicrobial treatment and vaccination provide only limited protection, but genetic disease resistance is a very promising alternative for sustainable prophylaxis. Previous studies have discovered multiple QTL that may explain up to 30% of phenotypic variance. Based on these findings, the aim of the present study was to use genomic sequencing to identify genetic markers for resistance to pleuropneumonia in a segregating commercial German Landrace line. 163 pigs were infected with A. pleuropneumoniae Serotype 7 through a standardized aerosol infection method. Phenotypes were accurately defined on a clinical, pathological and microbiological basis. The 58 pigs with the most extreme phenotypes were genotyped by sequencing (next-generation sequencing). SNPs were used in a genome-wide association study. The study identified genome-wide associated SNPs on three chromosomes, two of which were chromosomes of QTL which had been mapped in a recent experiment. Each variant explained up to 20% of the total phenotypic variance. Combined, the three variants explained 52.8% of the variance. The SNPs are located in genes involved in the pathomechanism of pleuropneumonia. This study confirms the genetic background for the host's resistance to pleuropneumonia and indicates a potential role of three candidates on SSC2, SSC12 and SSC15. Favorable gene variants are segregating in commercial populations. Further work is needed to verify the results in a controlled study and to identify the functional QTN.