Husdyr- og akvakulturvitenskap
A genetic solution to reduce boar taint in intact male pigs
Ane Gro Siri Skjelfjord
This application targets the prioritised area of Competitive Production of raw materials in the Food Research Program. Our specific focus goal is the development and implementation of a practical solution to boar taint.
Prosjektleder: Lien, Sigbjørn
Today, the castration of young male pigs has been widely employed as solution to boar taint; however this approach also removes the primary source of natural anabolic androgens which stimulate lean growth. Uncastrated males have improved feed efficiency and greater lean carcass yield compared to barrows, and the use of intact male pigs is estimated to improve the profitability of pork production by as much as 30%. When combined with animal welfare concerns, boar castration is an increasingly unattractive option for solving the boar taint problem. We consider ourselves to be well positioned to drive discovery of alternative approaches.
Our group possesses extensive knowledge of boar taint, and has conducted research into the areas of gene expression and QTL mapping. Furthermore, we have established collaborations with international groups in Europe and USA giving us access to cutting-edge technologies, and valuable, annotated sample sets. In this application we describe a realistic and achievable strategy to discover specific genetic mutations associated with boar taint.
By following a step-wise approach that draws into focus first QTLs, then specific candidate mutations, we anticipate that we will identify a modest number of specific polymorphisms associated with, or functionally responsible for, boar taint. Validation of these predictive markers for boar taint will be performed on large and well documented pig populations. Concurrently, functional analysis of candidate genes will be undertaken to develop a better understanding of the aetiology of boar taint. We anticipate that the outcome from this research will be a diagnostic tool to be used as a predictor of boar taint to help direct selective breeding towards reducing incidence of boar taint.
Oppdatert: 29.10.09Utskriftsvennlig versjon
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