An international team of scientists, funded with a $10 million grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), has completed the first draft of the genome of a domesticated pig. This first draft sequence will spur advancements in swine production and human medicine.
At 98 percent complete, the draft sequence will allow researchers to pinpoint genes that are useful to pork production or are involved in immunity or other important physiological processes in the pig. It will enhance breeding practices, offer insight into diseases that afflict pigs – and, sometimes, also humans – and will help in efforts to preserve the global heritage of rare, endangered and wild pigs.
UIUC selected a red-haired Duroc pig from a farm at the university to use for the sequencing project. The Duroc now will be among the growing list of domesticated animals that have had their genomes sequenced.
Source: USDA – United States Department of Agriculture