Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Biology and Microbiology


The agouti-related protein (agrp) gene encodes a gene product that regulates components of energy homeostasis - appetite, food intake, body composition, physical activity, basal metabolic rate and others. The protein encoded by agrp binds to melanocortin receptors (MC4-R) of hypothalamic neurons causing an increase in feeding behavior when AGRP overwhelms or out-competes a-melanocyte stimulating hormone (a-MSH), another naturally occurring ligand ofMC4-R which acts to suppress appetite. The purpose of this project was to isolate, extend, and sequence the porcine agrp from diverse breeds of pigs. Using the DNA nucleotide sequences of each breed-specific pig, we will determine if there are different alleles or variations among the various breeds and crossbreeds. The known porcine agrp transcript was extended using thermal asymmetric inter/aced - polymerase chain reaction (T AIL-PCR). From this extended transcript, sequence specific primers were designed and standard PCR was used to amplify the complete agrp sequence. PCR products were purified and sequenced directly. Sixteen samples of agrp genes representing pure or various porcine crossbreeds were sequenced. The open reading frame (ORF) of porcine agrp consists of 978 nucleotides. Sequence data show multiple regions of nucleotide variation that may represent polymorphisms. Information provided by this study may be valuable to pork producers. By optimizing the genetic regulation of weight gain, carcass quality and other aspects of energy balance, these data may help to produce healthier pigs with higher quality meats, more efficiently.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Swine -- Genetics Proteins Genetic polymorphisms



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University