Genome Regulation and Gene Interaction Networks Inferred From Muscle Transcriptome Underlying Feed Efficiency in Pigs

Victor Adriano Okstoft Carmelo, Haja N. Kadarmideen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

109 Downloads (Pure)


Improvement of feed efficiency (FE) is key for Sustainability and cost reduction in pig production. Our aim was to characterize the muscle transcriptomic profiles in Danbred Duroc (Duroc; n = 13) and Danbred Landrace (Landrace; n = 28), in relation to FE for identifying potential biomarkers. RNA-seq data on the 41 pigs was analyzed employing differential gene expression methods, gene-gene interaction and network analysis, including pathway and functional analysis. We also compared the results with genome regulation in human exercise data, hypothesizing that increased FE mimics processes triggered in exercised muscle. In the differential expression analysis, 13 genes were differentially expressed, including: MRPS11, MTRF1, TRIM63, MGAT4A, KLH30. Based on a novel gene selection method, the divergent count, we performed pathway enrichment analysis. We found five significantly enriched pathways related to feed conversion ratio (FCR). These pathways were mainly related to mitochondria, and summarized in the mitochondrial translation elongation (MTR) pathway. In the gene interaction analysis, the most interesting genes included the mitochondrial genes: PPIF, MRPL35, NDUFS4 and the fat metabolism and obesity genes: AACS, SMPDL3B, CTNNBL1, NDUFS4, and LIMD2. In the network analysis, we identified two modules significantly correlated with FCR. Pathway enrichment of module genes identified MTR, electron transport chain and DNA repair as enriched pathways. The network analysis revealed the mitochondrial gene group NDUF as key network hub genes, showing their potential as biomarkers. Results show that genes related to human exercise were enriched in identified FCR related genes. We conclude that mitochondrial activity is a key driver for FCR in muscle tissue, and mitochondrial genes could be potential biomarkers for FCR in pigs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number650
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Muscle transcriptome
  • Pigs
  • Feed efficiency
  • Gene networks
  • Candidate biomarkers


Dive into the research topics of 'Genome Regulation and Gene Interaction Networks Inferred From Muscle Transcriptome Underlying Feed Efficiency in Pigs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this