Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic Marker Predicts Pig Litter Size

Date:
January 15, 2007
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Bigger is often better where litter size is concerned, especially when it comes to piglets. Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb., have identified a genetic marker that could help pig breeders select animals for increased uterine capacity and litter size. This genetic discovery could give swine breeding a boost in efficiency.

A newly identified genetic marker could help producers select sows to produce larger litters.
Credit: Image courtesy of USDA/Agricultural Research Service

Bigger is often better where litter size is concerned, especially when it comes to piglets.

Related Articles


Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb., have identified a genetic marker that could help pig breeders select animals for increased uterine capacity and litter size. This genetic discovery could give swine breeding a boost in efficiency.

How does the marker work? Research leader Jeffrey L. Vallet and his colleagues discovered a single nucleotide polymorphism, or SNP, in the erythropoietin receptor gene. The hormone erythropoietin binds to this gene and stimulates red blood cell production.

SNPs are genetic variations that provide information about an animal's genetic value and can be used in breeding programs. In studies on two unrelated swine populations, the scientists showed that this newly discovered SNP is associated with increased litter size, an important trait for the swine industry.

The SNP creates either a T or a C allele--an alternative form of a gene that controls traits such as hair or eye color in humans, for example. In swine, sows with the T allele have an average litter size that is one or two piglets greater than the average litter size of sows with the C allele, according to the study.

The T allele occurred at low frequency in the population studied, but is a beneficial genetic difference. So how can it be used to improve swine production?

Vallet and geneticist Bradley A. Freking have developed an assay to detect the SNP in individual sows. The ability to quickly identify the beneficial SNP allele could one day allow breeders to select sows with improved uterine capacity and litter size, thus increasing production efficiency.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Genetic Marker Predicts Pig Litter Size." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070102121817.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2007, January 15). Genetic Marker Predicts Pig Litter Size. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070102121817.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Genetic Marker Predicts Pig Litter Size." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070102121817.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) You've probably seen some weird-looking dinosaurs, but have you ever seen one this weird? It's worth a look. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins