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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Perspectives for Artificial Insemination and Genomics to Improve Global Swine Populations

Authors
item Gerrits, Roger - USDA,ARS,ANRI,BGL
item Lunney, Joan
item Johnson, L - USDA,ARS, ANRI,BGL
item Pursel, V - USDA,ARS,ANRI,BGL
item Kraeling, Robert
item Rohrer, Gary
item Dobrinsky, John

Submitted to: Theriogenology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 27, 2004
Publication Date: December 8, 2004
Citation: Gerrits, R.J., Lunney, J.K., Johnson, L.J., Pursel, V.G., Kraeling, R.R., Rohrer, G.A., Dobrinsky, J.R. 2004. Perspectives for artificial insemination and genomics to improve global swine populations. Theriogenology. 63:283-299.

Interpretive Summary: Since its development over 30 years ago, the use of Artificial Insemination (AI) in Europe and the USA has had major impact on global pig improvement. Advances in semen extenders permitted AI greater than 5 days post-collection and were instrumental in the success of AI. Sexed sperm technology is now a reality and will revolutionize livestock production. Embryo cryopreservation and transfer provides opportunities for international transport of maternal germplasm. Transgenic animal production is successful, but cloning technology may be the future of biotechnology derived animal production. Functional genomics and proteomics have significant potential, but are not yet utilizable in pig production. The pig's genetic linkage map has been developed in the last 15 years with the goal of identifying genetic alleles that result in improved growth rate, carcass quality and reproductive performance. The sequencing of the pig genome for holds great promise to provide new information that can be used in pig production. In vitro embryo production, AI and embryo transfer will be preferred tools for implementing new technologies to enhance efficiency of global pig production.

Technical Abstract: Civilizations throughout the world continue to depend on pig meat as an important food source. Approximately 40% of the red meat consumed annually worldwide (94 million metric tons) is pig meat. Pig numbers (940 million) and consumption have increased consistent with the increasing world population. In the past 50 years, research guided genetic selection and nutrition programs have had a major impact on improving carcass composition and efficiency of swine production. The use of Artificial Insemination (AI) in Europe has also had major impact on pig improvement in the past 35 years and more recently in the USA. Scientific advances semen extenders permit use of fresh semen for greater than 5 days post-collection are largely responsible for the success of AI in pigs worldwide. Sexed sperm technology is now a reality and will revolutionize livestock production. Embryo cryopreservation and transfer provides opportunities for international transport of maternal germplasm. Transgenic animal production is successful, and successful cloning technology may be the future of biotechnology derived animal production. Technologies based on research in functional genomics and proteomics and cloning have significant potential, but considerable research effort will be required before they can be utilized for AI in pig production. In the past 15 years there has been a coordinated worldwide scientific effort to develop the genetic linkage map of the pig with the goal of identifying pigs with genetic alleles that result in improved growth rate, carcass quality, and reproductive performance. Molecular genetic tests have been developed to select pigs with improved traits such as removal of the porcine stress syndrome and selection for specific estrogen receptor alleles. Less progress has been made in developing routine tests related to diseases. Major research in genomics is being pursued to improve the efficiency of selection for healthier pigs with disease resistance properties. The sequencing of the genome of the pig to identify new genes and unique regulatory elements holds great promise to provide new information that can be used in pig production. In vitro embryo production, AI and embryo transfer will be the preferred means of implementing these new technologies to enhance efficiency of pig production in the future.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014