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Research uncovers genetic marker that could help control, eliminate PRRS virus
Date:3/15/2012

new Large Animal Research Center is the site of much of the project's experimental work. The researchers obtain multiple measurements -- including growth, weight gain, performance and virus measurements -- over time. They have collected samples from more than 2,000 pigs since they began the study in 2007, for a total of more than 100,000 samples that are stored or distributed to the consortium's collaborators.

The university shipped samples to the Agricultural Research Service for genomic DNA preparations to identify differences among more than 60,000 genes. The data was transferred to Iowa State University for genetic analysis that led to the discovery of the QTL.

The collaborators at Iowa State University created a common database so that all the data collected during the project can be accessed at multiple locations by researchers and the breeding industry for the next several decades.

"A unique aspect of this project is that we have been looking at genes that may provide long-term resistance to a lot of infections," Rowland said. "This is very important for animal health because there are a lot of diseases for which there are no cures and no vaccines. Now we have a tool to study these diseases."

These findings open new possibilities with Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute and the future National Bio and Agro-defense Facility. Scientists can take this new genetic tool and study different infectious diseases in these world-class research facilities.

The discovery plays a role in nearly every aspect of animal health and is a large economic driver, Rowland said. Industry members are especially interested in how it opens new possibilities with vaccines. The next step is to find which genes contribute to the best vaccine response.

"We're not only making healthier animals, but we're also understanding the fundamental biological relationship between a host and a pathogen," Rowland said. "This h
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Contact: Raymond "Bob" Rowland
browland@k-state.edu
785-532-4631
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

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