Mitochondrial DNA sequence variations in some Italian wild boar populations

L. Lattuada, F. Quaglia, F. Iannelli, C. Gissi, P. Mantecca, R. Bacchetta, M. Polli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to investigate the relationships between Italian wild boar and major pig breeds, we studied the genetic variability of four wild boar populations in Italy (Arezzo, Pisa, Parma, Bergamo) using a 533-bp fragment of the mitochondrial control region. Sixty-nine wild boar samples were analysed, allowing the identification of 10 distinct haplotypes, which involve a total of 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms. Phylogenetic and network analyses were performed also considering several sequences of wild and domesticated forms available in the databases. The Bayesian phylogenetic tree and the Median-Joining network analyses show three main groups: the Italian (IT), European (EU) and Asian (AS) clades. The IT clade corresponds to the Maremma endemic wild boar population and also includes Sardinian individuals, while the EU and AS groups include wild boars as well as domestic pig breeds. Only two individuals from Pisa cluster in the IT group, whereas two haplotypes from Bergamo cluster in the AS group and all other samples cluster in the EU clade. These findings suggest that in Italy wild boar populations have a mixed origin, both EU and AS, and that an interbreeding between wild and domesticated strains has probably occurred. Eight of the 10 wild boars coming from the Migliarino-San Rossore-Massaciuccoli Regional Park (Pisa) belong to H2 and H3 haplotypes, and cluster into the EU clade, suggesting that this regional park is not anymore exclusive of the endemic Maremma wild boar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-163
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


  • Hybridization
  • MtDNA
  • PCR analysis
  • Pig
  • Sus scrofa
  • Wild boar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Animals


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