The role of domestic mammals in the development of human biomedical sciences has been widely documented. Among these model species the pig and dog are of special importance. Both are useful for studies on the etiology of human obesity. Genome sequences of both species are known and advanced genetic tools [eg, microarray SNP for genome wide association studies (GWAS), next generation sequencing (NGS), etc.] are commonly used in such studies. In the domestic pig the accumulation of adipose tissue is an important trait, which influences meat quality and fattening efficiency. Numerous quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for pig fatness traits were identified, while gene polymorphisms associated with these traits were also described. The situation is different in dog population. Generally, excessive accumulation of adipose tissue is considered, similar to humans, as a complex disease. However, research on the genetic background of canine obesity is still in its infancy. Between-breed differences in terms of adipose tissue accumulation are well known in both animal species. In this review we show recent advances of studies on adipose tissue accumulation in pigs and dogs, and their potential importance for studies on human obesity.
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