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 March 6, 2015 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 March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Praying Mantis Looks Long Before It Leaps

Praying Mantis Looks Long Before It Leaps

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Slowed-down footage of the leaps of praying mantises show the insect&apos;s extraordinary precision, say researchers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Octopus Grabs Camera and Turns It Around On Photographer

Octopus Grabs Camera and Turns It Around On Photographer

Buzz60 (Mar. 5, 2015) A photographer got the shot of a lifetime, or rather an octopus did, when it grabbed the camera and turned it around to take an amazing picture of the photographer. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

AP (Mar. 5, 2015) The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is ending its iconic elephant acts. The circus&apos; parent company, Feld Entertainment, told the AP exclusively that the acts will be phased out by 2018 over growing public concern about the animals. (March 5) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) Once nearly extinct, grey whales now migrate in their thousands to Mexico&apos;s Vizcaino reserve in Baja California, in search of warmer waters to mate and give birth. Tourists flock to the reserve to see the whales, measuring up to 49 feet long. (March 4) Video provided by AP
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