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Data from: Genome wide assessment of genetic variation and population distinctiveness of the pig family in South Africa

Cite this dataset

Hlongwane, Nompilo L et al. (2020). Data from: Genome wide assessment of genetic variation and population distinctiveness of the pig family in South Africa [Dataset]. Dryad.


Genetic diversity is of great importance and a prerequisite for genetic improvement and conservation programs in pigs and other livestock populations. The present study provides a genome wide analysis of the genetic variability and population structure of pig populations from different production systems in South Africa relative to global populations. A total of 234 pigs sampled in South Africa and consisting of village (n = 91), commercial (n = 60), indigenous (n = 40), Asian (n = 5) and wild (n = 38) populations were genotyped using Porcine SNP60K BeadChip. In addition, 389 genotypes representing village and commercial pigs from America, Europe and Asia were accessed from a previous study and used to compare population clustering and relationships of South African pigs with global populations. Moderate heterozygosity levels, ranging from 0.204 for Warthogs to 0.371 for village pigs sampled from Capricorn municipality in Eastern Cape province of South Africa were observed. Principal Component Analysis of the South African pigs resulted in four distinct clusters of (i) Duroc; (ii) Vietnamese; (iii) Bush pig and Warthog and (iv) a cluster with the rest of the commercial (SA Large White and Landrace), village, Wild Boar and indigenous breeds of Koelbroek and Windsnyer. The clustering demonstrated alignment with genetic similarities, geographic location and production systems.  The PCA with the global populations also resulted in four clusters that where populated with (i) all the village populations, wild boars, SA indigenous and the large white and landraces; (ii) Durocs (iii) Chinese and Vietnamese pigs and (iv) Warthog and Bush pig. K= 10 (The number of population units) was the most probable ADMIXTURE based clustering, which grouped animals according to their populations with the exception of the village pigs that showed presence of admixture. AMOVA reported 19.92% – 98.62% of the genetic variation to be within populations. Sub structuring was observed between South African commercial populations as well as between Indigenous and commercial breeds. Population pairwise FSTanalysis showed genetic differentiation (P < 0.05)between the village, commercial and wild populations. A per marker per population pairwise FSTanalysis revealed SNPs associated with QTLs for traits such as meat quality, cytoskeletal and muscle development, glucose metabolism processes and growth factors between both domestic populations as well as between wild and domestic breeds. Overall, the study provided a baseline understanding of porcine diversity and an important foundation for porcine genomics of South African populations.


Hair and Tissue samples were collected and genotyped using the PorcineSNP60K beadChip with GenomeStudio version 2.0 was used to process the genotype data

Usage notes


National Research Foundation, Award: Study fellowship-Nhlongwane


South Africa