The aim of the present study was to investigate the associations of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in candidate genes with fatness traits in the Longissimus dorsi muscle of pigs. The polymorphisms of genes were investigated, which included beta-3-adrenergic receptor gene (ADRB3), heart fatty acid-binding protein gene (FABP3), and hormone-sensitive lipase gene (LIPE) as well as lipoprotein lipase gene (LPL). The intramuscular fat (IMF) content and fatty acid composition contents in Longissimus dorsi muscle samples were measured. Results showed that ADRB3, LIPE, and LPL SNPs were associated with IMF content (P < 0.05). ADRB3 AG heterozygotes exhibited higher IMF content. LIPE A allele was associated with greater IMF content. LPL CT heterozygotes exhibited the lowest IMF content. ADRB3 c.1192G>A had highly significant association with the total monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) (P < 0.01) and the total polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) (P < 0.01). LIPE c.442G>A was significantly associated with the contents of C12:0 and C14:0 (P < 0.05). LPL c.624C>T was significantly associated with the percentage of C16:1 (P < 0.05) and the percentage of total saturated fatty acid (SFA) (P < 0.05). The pigs with ADRB3 G allele had more MUFA, and the pigs with LPL T allele had less SFA, implying that the ADRB3 G and LPL T in pigs may be beneficial to human health. In conclusion, the results suggest that these genetic markers are important sources of the variations for the pork selection to obtain favourable meat with higher IMF levels and appropriate fatty acid composition.
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