The draft sequence, which is about 98 percent complete, 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 assist in efforts to preserve the global heritage of rare, endangered and wild pigs. It also will be important for the study of human health because pigs are very similar to humans in their physiology, behavior and nutritional needs.
"We are excited to have the swine genome sequence and anticipate this will accelerate the rate of genetic improvement in swine as the bovine sequence is impacting the dairy industry's genetic gains," said Steve Kappes, deputy administrator of Animal Production and Protection for the USDA Agricultural Research Service.
"This is a great day for the pig research community," said professor Alan Archibald, of the Roslin Institute and R(D)SVS at the University of Edinburgh. "When we launched the international pig gene mapping project almost 20 years ago, few if any of us thought a pig genome sequence was attainable or affordable."
The pig genome sequence is an essential first tool that will allow scientists to delve into the health, science and natural history of the pig, Schook said.
"This is just the end of the beginning of the process," he said. "Now we're just beginning to be able to answer a lot of questions about the pig."
"We are delighted to have contributed to this important collaboration," said professor Allan Bradley, the director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, which performed most of the sequencing. "This sequence provides a tool of real value in helping the research community to better understand human diseases, in particular by facilitating cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal and immunological studies. Tha
|Contact: Diana Yates|
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign