Over the decades, pig breeding objectives have focused on improving the meat content in the carcass without taking into consideration the more effective fattening indicators that affect feed conversion. At present, pig growth traits associated particularly with animal feeding have become crucial due to their economic significance. This is especially evident in countries where pigs are maintained on large farms. The present study indicates that pituitary differentially expressed genes (DEGs) are activated in response to variable feed conversion (FC) in pigs. The experiment included two native Polish breeds: Puławska and Złotnicka White (ZW). The whole pituitary transcriptome was sequenced using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. The RNA-seq method identified over 500 and 300 DEGs in the pituitaries of the ZW and the Puławska pig populations, respectively, that were associated with hormonal regulation, notch signaling, and Wnt pathways. Lower FC in the ZW pigs favoured increased fat content in the body and significantly higher prolactin expression. The obtained results indicate that low FC values in pigs are related to slower growth or increased fat content, which suggests various pituitary responses. Therefore, the identified candidate genes were not directly associated with feed conversion values but with other factors. However, the present study delivers new insights into pituitary regulation in pigs.
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