1 Animal Genetics, Bioinformatics and Breeding, Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 IKVH Animal Genetics, Bioinformatics, and breeding, Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet3 Animal Genetics, Bioinformatics and Breeding, Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Obesity is a complex condition with world-wide exponentially rising prevalence rates, linked with severe diseases like Type 2 Diabetes. Economic and welfare consequences have led to a raised interest in a better understanding of the biological and genetic background. To date, whole genome investigations focusing on single genetic variants have achieved limited success, and the importance of including genetic interactions is becoming evident. Here, the aim was to perform an integrative genomic analysis in an F2 pig resource population that was constructed with an aim to maximize genetic variation of obesity-related phenotypes and genotyped using the 60K SNP chip. Firstly, Genome Wide Association (GWA) analysis was performed on the Obesity Index to locate candidate genomic regions that were further validated using combined Linkage Disequilibrium Linkage Analysis and investigated by evaluation of haplotype blocks. We built Weighted Interaction SNP Hub (WISH) and differentially wired (DW) networks using genotypic correlations amongst obesity-associated SNPs resulting from GWA analysis. GWA results and SNP modules detected by WISH and DW analyses were further investigated by functional enrichment analyses. The functional annotation of SNPs revealed several genes associated with obesity, e.g. NPC2 and OR4D10. Moreover, gene enrichment analyses identified several significantly associated pathways, over and above the GWA study results, that may influence obesity and obesity related diseases, e.g. metabolic processes. WISH networks based on genotypic correlations allowed further identification of various gene ontology terms and pathways related to obesity and related traits, which were not identified by the GWA study. In conclusion, this is the first study to develop a (genetic) obesity index and employ systems genetics in a porcine model to provide important insights into the complex genetic architecture associated with obesity and many biological pathways that underlie it.