Novel Test Determines Boar Fertility

26 July 2013, at 7:42am

US - Researchers at the University of Missouri have developed a new test that combines three conventional screening procedures to detect defects that impact fertility.

Researchers at the University have developed a specific sperm-binding test in combination with three other conventional screening procedures already utilised to detect subtle defects that can dictate fertility.

Normally, this process of detection would take a substantial amount of time and money. However, by using a unique artificial bead that mimics an ovum during in-vitro fertilisation, a boar’s fertility can be measured by the number of bound sperm. This should allow farmers to be more efficient in the pork industry and prevent wasteful spending on expensive and timely tests.

The development will be presented at Missouri Tech Expo 2013 in September this year.

Pork is the most consumed meat in the world. Last year, the pork industry in the United States was valued at $16.8 billion. The market for pork is extremely competitive, so any increase in productivity could assist in leveraging market shares.

A majority of piglets born in the US and most Western nations are the result of artificial insemination, which has enhanced overall quality of pork worldwide. However, this form of reproduction does not always guarantee offspring. Consequently, farmers spend substantial amounts of time and money testing a boar’s fertility, the researchers explain.