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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: BARC 2005 Station Report for Nc-1004 National Project on Genetic and Functional Genomic Approaches to Improve Production and Quality of Pork

Author
item Lunney, Joan

Submitted to: Agricultural Experiment Station Publication
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: January 27, 2006
Publication Date: February 3, 2006
Citation: Lunney, J.K. 2006. BARC 2005 station report for NC-1004 national project on genetic and functional genomic approaches to improve production and quality of pork. BARC Agricultural Experiment Station Publication. Available: http://lgu.umd.edu/lgu_v2/homepages/outline.cfm?trackID=2055

Interpretive Summary: The BARC lab participates in NC-1004 national project that assesses “Genetic and Functional Genomic Approaches to Improve Production and Quality of Pork.” This program has as its second objective: Discover genetic mechanisms controlling animal health in pork production. The lab worked on the most economically important swine disease, Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS). We first identified key regulators of protective immune mechanisms against PRRS virus infection. Next, genetic mapping studies of PRRS resistance were pursued with Univ. Nebraska scientists. Those studies revealed that levels of some immune genes may determine whether pigs will effectively limit virus replication after infection with PRRS virus. Our research highlighted two proteins, interleukin-8 (IL8) and interferon-gamma (IFNG), in serum as potential targets for future studies of genetic association for PRRS resistance. Such information will enable producers to decrease breeding of PRRS susceptible pigs, and select for PRRS resistant stock. With an international group of scientists we helped established new nomenclature to classify the swine major histocompatibility complex genes, termed swine leukocyte antigens or SLA. An internationally recognized nomenclature for SLA class I and SLA class II gene polymorphisms was established and published in 2005. Finally, comparison of two methods of gene expression studies, real-time expression and microarrays; provided basic confirmation of utility of swine arrays as important tools for expanding pig gene expression studies.

Technical Abstract: The NC-1004 national project assesses “Genetic and Functional Genomic Approaches to Improve Production and Quality of Pork.” This station report summarizes the BARC lab’s recent research progress on the second objective: Discover genetic mechanisms controlling animal health in pork production. Gene expression analyses helped to identify key regulators of protective immune mechanisms against Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (PRRSV) infection. Results of genetic studies with Univ. Nebraska scientists have revealed that levels of some immune genes may determine whether pigs will effectively limit virus replication after infection with PRRSV. These studies have highlighted targets for future studies of genetic association for PRRS resistance, specifically levels of innate cytokine interleukin-8 in serum and tissue expression of interferon-gamma. Such information will enable producers to decrease breeding of PRRSV susceptible pigs, and select for PRRSV resistant stock. Established internationally recognized nomenclature to identify and classify SLA class I and SLA class II gene polymorphisms. Compared real-time expression data with array data, providing basic confirmation of utility of swine arrays as important tools for pig gene expression studies.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014