Pork Checkoff and industry join effort to sequence the swine genome

US - The Pork Checkoff, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), state pork associations and research institutions have partnered with international organizations to support sequencing the swine genome. The effort garnered over $30 million in funding toward the international project, led in the U.S. by the University of Illinois.
calendar icon 20 January 2006
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“The National Pork Board, through the Pork Checkoff, played an important role in promoting the value of this research for the industry,“ said Mark Boggess, director of animal science for the Pork Checkoff. “In late January 2005, USDA credited America’s pork producers and their commitment to the swine genome mapping project and their leadership for ensuring additional funding was garnered from other sources.“

Through the Pork Checkoff, pork producers have committed $750,000 to the genome mapping project. “The pork-producer led National Pork Board recognized the importance of this research and of having access to the information once it is completed,“ Boggess said.

The swine genome project follows the genome sequencing of other domestic animal species, including bovine and chicken. An even, competitive playing field between swine and the other food animal industries is one of the reasons the National Pork Board recognized the importance of funding the project.

Of equal importance is that with the sequence in hand, science will develop better tools for animal selection. This will include tools to fight diseases of high economic impact such as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, tools to improve production and even tools to advance the human medical field. All these new developments will have the potential to directly benefit pork producers, Boggess said.

Source: National Pork Board - 18th January 2006

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