Response to dietary phosphorus deficiency is affected by genetic background in growing pigs

Lonergan, Steven
Alexander, L.
Qu, A.
Cutler, Sara
Rothschild, Max
Mahajan, A.
Lonergan, Steven
Rothschild, Max
Weber, Thomas
Kerr, Brian
Stahl, Chad
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Animal Science

Concern over the environmental effect of P excretion from pig production has led to reduced dietary P supplementation. To examine how genetics influence P utilization, 94 gilts sired by 2 genetic lines (PIC337 and PIC280) were housed individually and fed either a P-adequate diet (PA) or a 20% P-deficient diet (PD) for 14 wk. Initially and monthly, blood samples were collected and BW recorded after an overnight fast. Growth performance and plasma indicators of P status were determined monthly. At the end of the trial, carcass traits, meat quality, bone strength, and ash percentage were determined. Pigs fed the PD diet had decreased (P < 0.05) plasma P concentrations and poorer G:F (P < 0.05) over the length of the trial. After 4 wk on trial, pigs fed the PD diet had increased (P < 0.05) plasma 1,25(OH)2D3 and decreased (P < 0.05) plasma parathyroid hormone compared with those fed the PA diet. At the end of the trial, pigs fed the PD diet had decreased (P < 0.05) BW, HCW, and percentage fat-free lean and tended to have decreased LM area (P = 0.06) and marbling (P= 0.09) and greater (P = 0.12) 10th-rib backfat than pigs fed the PA diet. Additionally, animals fed the PD diet had weaker bones and also decreased (P < 0.05) ash percentage and increased (P < 0.05) concentrations of 1α-hydroxylase and parathyroid hormone receptor mRNA in kidney tissue. Regardless of dietary treatment, PIC337-sired pigs consumed more feed and gained more BW than their PIC280-sired counterparts (P < 0.05) during the study. The PIC337-sired pigs also had greater (P < 0.05) HCW, larger (P < 0.01) LM area, and tended to have (P = 0.07) greater dressing percentage. Meat from the PIC337-sired pigs also tended to have greater (P = 0.12) concentrations of lactate but decreased (P = 0.07) concentrations of total glucose units 24 h postslaughter. Although plasma 1,25(OH)2D3 concentrations were elevated (P < 0.05) in all the animals fed the PD diet, this elevation due to P deficiency tended (P = 0.09) to be greater in the PIC337-sired pigs after 12 wk on the treatment. The PIC337-sired pigs had stronger (P < 0.01) bones with greater ash percentage than the PIC280-sired pigs. The difference in the strength of the radii between the PIC337-sired pigs fed the PA and PD diets was greater than their PIC280-sired counterparts, which resulted in sire line × treatment interactions (P < 0.05). These data indicate differing mechanisms of P utilization between these genetic lines. Elucidating these mechanisms may lead to strategies to increase efficiency of growth in a more environmentally friendly manner.


This article is from Journal of Animal Science (2008): 2585–2595, doi:10.2527/jas.2007-0692.