Acceligen develops gene-edited, PRRS-resistant pig genetics

The company aims to boost the sustainability of ethical pork production
calendar icon 27 February 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Acceligen, an innovator in sustainable agriculture, announced recently the breeding of gene-edited pigs with resistance to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS). The company believes the genetics are a breakthrough in the pursuit of sustainable and ethical pork production.

PRRS is the most devastating disease to the swine industry in the United States. The disease impacts productivity, as well as health and wellness, and is estimated to cost US pork producers $500 million. 

Deploying protein modifications developed by Kansas State University, Acceligen is able to breed pigs naturally resistant to PRRS. The use of new breeding technology enabled by gene-editing to prevent PRRS will improve the overall animal well-being leading to healthier animals and a safer food supply. Breeding of pigs naturally resistant to PRRS may reduce the environmental impact of pork production by improving efficiency. The resistance to PRRS virus infection was proven effective through a collaboration with Professor Bob Rowland at the University of Illinois.

"This is an exciting time to be at the forefront of this impactful breeding application in sustainable agriculture," said Tad Sonstegard, CEO of Acceligen. "Our goal is to use the best tools for breeding and selection to create a better future for animals, farmers, consumers and the environment. Gene-editing is one of the most powerful breeding tools that allows us to address some of the biggest challenges facing the pork industry and to create a more sustainable and ethical food system."

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