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Genomics Set to Drive New Era of Pig Genetic Improvement

10 February 2015

Genomic technologies that combine genetic analysis with bioinformatics, are set to become a much bigger factor in pork genetic improvement according to William Herring, director of genetic development for PIC.

William Herring told his audience at the Banff Pork Seminar that PIC, a large international player on the genetics front, has been a leader in the research and application of genomic technologies. However, the effort has historically led to small, incremental changes to the rate of genetic change, reports Meristem Land and Science.

Meristem Land & Science William Herring
William Herring of PIC at the Banff Pork Seminar

That is about to change, he said. New developments allow genotyping many animals at different cost-effective densities and inputting those results to more meaningful higher densities to improve accuracy.

He said: "We are convinced our approaches provide our populations leading genetic progress for all economically important traits.

"Using our propriety powerful genotyping platform also enables us to move to more cost-effectively and strategically genotype the animal that can provide the greatest progress for our customers.

"In other words, we are able to genotype most animals well in front of their selection event to be sure we capture those animals that possess the unique genetic combinations of economically important traits.

"We can in turn quickly process those genotypes through our global genetic improvement system combined with a vast database of pedigrees and numerous economically important traits allowing genomics to have an impact on our indexes," Mr Herring added.

February 2015

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