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New Test Tracks Genetic Origin As Well As Meat

by 5m Editor
22 January 2008, at 9:36am

SPAIN - A joint research project on Hypor's Pork Quality Concept with the University of Barcelona has developed a new DNA test that can confirm the breed and origin of meat from farm animals.

This breakthrough in swine research allows for traceability of meat and linking this, at the same time, to differences in meat and carcass quality. This system could be an additional tool to normal pedigreeing and could substitute or be used to validate traditional traceability systems like pedigreeing.

Tracing Genetics Hypor's Pork Quality Concept specializes in breeding animals with specific characteristics that produce products for specialised markets such as Parma hams, English bacon, Serrano hams or Japanese fresh meats. Hypor is part of the Hendrix Genetics group, an organization focused on research and development.

With this project, Hypor has once again taken a step ahead in genetic development with the introduction of SNPlex™ genotyping system for genetic traceability and meat quality differentiation in pigs. The aim of the study was to select and test a panel of 46 SNPs in different pig populations by the SNPlex™ genotyping system to determine the potential utility of these markers in individual pig identification and parentage testing. The full article on this study was published in the most recent issue of Animal Genetics.

The project was led by Dr. Armand Sánchez, a well-noted scientist at the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Dr. Sánchez has been lauded for his work in theoretical and applied biotech research in swine.

Development of SNP-markers (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) is a key component of Genomic Selection as a result of their abundance in the genome, the simplicity of analysis and the reduction in genotyping costs. Utilization of SNP-markers in breeding programs has become more viable in various species as breeders explore utilization of this for traceability of meat, parentage testing and genetic improvement in meat and carcass quality.

SNPlex™ genotyping system is a standard automized way of high throughput DNA-analysis. It combines accurate genotyping, high sample throughput, study design flexibility, and cost efficiency. The SNPlex Genotyping System offers a high degree of flexibility and scalability, allowing the selection of custom-defined sets of SNPs for medium- to high-throughput genotyping projects for different purposes.

"Using SNPlex™, we were able to develop this 46 SNPlex-panel application in swine. It gives us a panel of markers focused on traceability and meat and carcass quality and allows us to do fast and cheap analysis for direct application of the breeding program results. This SNP-marker-panel gives us new opportunities to improve our Pork Quality Concepts by accelerating product development and leading to more uniform meat and carcass quality," said Benny van Haandel, head of Hypor’s R&D. "We will apply the technology to improve the accuracy of our breeding program the coming years."

Ref: M. Ballester; A. Mercadé; Van Haandel; J. Santamartina; A. Sánchez. 2007. Individual identification and genetic traceability in the pig using the SNPlexTM genotyping system. Animal Genetics, Vol 38 (6), 663-665.

5m Editor