Corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) is a plasma transport protein that has glucocorticoid-binding activity. In the present study, we identified CBG gene expression in several tissues of four pig breeds: Berkshire, Duroc, Landrace, and Yorkshire. Expression of CBG mRNA was detected in the liver of all four breeds, and was the highest in Berkshire pigs. We also found single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CBG gene from Berkshire pigs, including SNP c.919G>A, which corresponds to 307G>R. We analyzed the relationships between this CBG variant and various meat-quality traits. The SNP was significantly associated with backfat thickness, post-mortem pH24h, meat color [CIE a* (redness), CIE b* (yellowness)], water-holding capacity, fat content, moisture content, protein content, cooking loss, and shear force. However, the effects differed by gender: the values were significantly associated with almost all traits in gilts, whereas only cooking loss and shear force were shown significantly in barrows. The variant G allele was associated with decreases in backfat thickness, post-mortem pH24h, CIE a*, fat content, and cooking loss, but with increases in CIE b*, water-holding capacity, moisture content, protein content, and shear force. Because the general correlation between meat-quality traits were not validated in the present study, we suggest that certain SNP might be used in the restrictive application to distinguish meat-quality traits.
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