Rapid advancements in genomics pioneered by the cattle industry have created opportunities for further genetic improvement in the pig sector, according to forum speakers at the University of Guelph in Canada.
Held by the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement Inc., the Swine Genomics Forum gathered researchers, students and stakeholders from throughout the swine industry. Representatives from the beef, dairy cattle, fish and poultry industries were also on hand. Canadian and international collaboration was a key theme of presentations.
Genomic selection uses genotypes on thousands of points in the DNA (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms or SNPs) which vary between animals, in order to select the best individuals to produce the next generation. Organizations involved in genetically improving dairy cows first implemented genomic selection in 2009. Speakers at the event highlighted current research and what they considered was needed for advancements in swine improvement. A presentation by Nicole Dion with the Centre demonstrated how collaboration between pig breeding organizations in Canada has led to the creation of PigGen Canada.