Melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R) mutations and coat color in pigs. Academic Article uri icon


  • The melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R) plays a central role in regulation of eumelanin (black/brown) and phaeomelanin (red/yellow) synthesis within the mammalian melanocyte and is encoded by the classical Extension (E) coat color locus. Sequence analysis of MC1R from seven porcine breeds revealed a total of four allelic variants corresponding to five different E alleles. The European wild boar possessed a unique MC1R allele that we believe is required for the expression of a wild-type coat color. Two different MC1R alleles were associated with the dominant black color in pigs. MC1R*2 was found in European Large Black and Chinese Meishan pigs and exhibited two missense mutations compared with the wild-type sequence. Comparative data strongly suggest that one of these, L99P, may form a constitutively active receptor. MC1R*3 was associated with the black color in the Hampshire breed and involved a single missense mutation D121N. This same MC1R variant was also associated with EP, which results in black spots on a white or red background. Two different missense mutations were identified in recessive red (e/e) animals. One of these, A240T, occurs at a highly conserved position, making it a strong candidate for disruption of receptor function.

published proceedings

  • Genetics

altmetric score

  • 3.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Kijas, J. M., Wales, R., Trnsten, A., Chardon, P., Moller, M., & Andersson, L.

citation count

  • 266

complete list of authors

  • Kijas, JM||Wales, R||Törnsten, A||Chardon, P||Moller, M||Andersson, L

publication date

  • November 1998