- Volume 4 Issue 4
Pig breeding programs have been very successful in the improvement of animals by the simple expedient of focusing on a few traits of economic importance, particularly growth efficiency and leanness. Further reductions in leanness may become more difficult to achieve, due to reduced genetic variation, and less desirable, due to adverse correlated effects on meat and eating quality. Best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) of breeding values makes possible the incorporation of data from many sources and increases the value of including traits such as sow performance in the breeding objective. Advances in technology, such as electronic animal identification, electronic feeders, improved ultrasonic scanners and automated data capture at slaughter houses, increase the number of sources of information that can be included in breeding value predictions. Breeding program structures will evolve to reflect these changes and a common structure is likely to be several or many breeding farms genetically linked by A.i., with data collected on a number of traits from many sources and integrated into a single breeding value prediction using BLUP. Future developments will include the production of a porcine gene map which may make it possible to identify genes controlling economically valuable traits, such as those for litter size in the Meishan, and introgress them into nucleus populations. Genes identified from the gene map or from other sources will provide insight into the genetic basis of performance and may provide the raw material from which transgenic programs will channel additional genetic variance into nucleus populations undergoing selection.
- Strategies to Utilize Marker-Quantitative Trait Loci Associations vol.81, pp.00220302, 1998, https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(98)70157-2