TOPIGS Combines Genomic Selection with Pigbase

by 5m Editor
28 April 2011, at 9:30am

NETHERLANDS - TOPIGS has linked the emerging technology of genomic selection to Pigbase, its enormous databank.

Pigbase contains phenotypic information from almost 23 million pigs. This link up maximises the benefits that can be obtained from genomic selection. TOPIGS expects to achieve significantly more genetic progress in the near future as a result of this.

Over the next few years, TOPIGS will invest several million euros in genomic selection to fully utilise and introduce the possibilities of this highly promising technique into everyday breeding practice. With this initiative TOPIGS will remain one step ahead of other breeding organisations.

Genomic selection makes it possible to directly see what the genetic disposition for a certain characteristic is. Faster genetic progress will be made, especially for characteristics that are only visible later in a pig’s life, are sex-linked or have a low inheritability. Genomic selection also makes it possible to work with specific breeding objectives, such as selecting against the occurrence of boar taint.

TOPIGS’ breeding databank Pigbase contains phenotypic information from 23 million pigs. For example, each year the individual birthweight of more than half a million piglets is determined. On top of this, the individual feed uptake of more than 20,000 breeding pigs is recorded each year and 3500 carcasses are dissected. Furthermore, a wide range of growth data, backfat measurements, fertility data, litter data and other details are also collected and recorded.