Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics


Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
This proposed Alberta Livestock Genomics Program project will build a Canadian component to the PRRS Host Genetics Consortium (PHGC) project. This involves Canadian researchers, laboratories and companies thereby adding significant value to the Canadian industry and providing a significant leverage of ALGP and Canadian company funding. The project addresses two of the ALGP research areas: 1. Genomics supported Expected Progeny Differences (EPD’s) for bovine or porcine (including potential marker validation studies), and 2. Genomics of livestock health. The three objectives of this project are: 1) Enhance the development of Genomic Estimated Breeding Values; 2) Enhance the planned transcriptome analysis by incorporating Next-gen sequencing technology; and 3) Enhance the proteomic analysis to increase the number of samples using high throughput immune assays developed by Dr. Lunney at USDA-ARS. The Cooperator has the expertise and infrastructure to effectively perform single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and Transcriptome Sequencing (RNA-seq) analyses and will collaborate on proteomic fluorescent microsphere immunoassays (FMIAs).

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
ARS has led the PRRS Host Genetics Consortium (PHGC) Project, the goal of which is to identify genetic determinants of resistance/susceptibility of commercial swine to porcine respiratory and the reproductive syndrome virus (PRRSV) infection. Many of these studies have been performed with pigs from Canadian sources. This information will be used by both parties and members of the PHGC determine genetic alleles and gene and protein expression differences that are associated with PRRS resistance/susceptibility. The COOPERATOR will genotype PHGC DNAs and perform RNA-seq and FMIA analyses to identify genes and proteins that differentiate PRRS resistant from susceptible pigs.

3. Progress Report:
This project helped to build a Canadian component to the U.S. effort to map genes and identify biomarkers associated with resistance to porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus (PRRSV) infection, the most economically important swine production disease worldwide. ARS Researchers at Beltsville, Maryland (BARC), leaders of the U.S. PRRS Host Genetics Consortium (PHGC) project, partnered with scientists from the University of Alberta (UoA) and with their breeding company organization, PigGen Canada, to characterize host factors that contribute to PRRS disease resistance and growth losses. For this project efforts were aimed at determining whether serum biomarkers of disease resistance could be identified. BARC scientists working with a visiting Brazilian Embrapa scientist, used their newly developed fluorescent magnetic bead multiplex immunoassay to identify serum proteins that differentiate PRRS-resistant from susceptible pigs. Major changes in a few proteins, the cytokine interferon-alpha, and chemokine CCL2, exhibited unique patterns that correlated with lower viral loads of PRRS-resistant pigs. Further assessment of these biomarkers is underway. Finally, as part of this effort the technology for the multiplex immunoassay was transferred to Canadian researchers for their analyses of PRRS resistance in a pregnant gilt model.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page