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Crop Biotech Update

Most Accurate Map of Pig Genome Gives Insights to Breeding Healthier Animals

July 22, 2020

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service Meat Animal Research Center have decoded the whole genome of pigs. The new reference genome, built using the latest cutting-edge DNA sequencing technologies, provides information on the location of more than 21,000 pig genes and is freely available online.

The researchers also identified 2,500 pig genes with an evolutionary link to a human gene, increasing the known number of such genes to 15,500. The scientists characterized the genomes of two different pigs – a sow from the Duroc breed and a male crossbred white composite boar, and included detailed information of a further 11 pigs from European and Asian breeds.

Professor Alan Archibald, UK study lead and Personal Chair of Mammalian Molecular Genetics at the Roslin Institute said, "Pork is the most popular of all meats and, with a growing global population, we need to improve the sustainability of food production. The improved knowledge of pigs' genetic make-up will help farmers breed healthier and more productive animals."

For more details, read the news article from the Roslin Institute.

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