Genetic markers for growth, leanness and meat quality discovered at Iowa State University (ISU) have been made available to pork producers in the United States.
“This offers a unique opportunity to use molecular genetics to improve pigs’ growth, leanness, feed conversion and meat quality for all breeds typically seen in the United States,” says Max Rothschild, C.F. Curtis Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and director of the Center for Integrated Animal Genomics at ISU.
The Iowa State University Research Foundation has signed a licensing agreement with GeneSeek, Inc. of Lincoln, NE. The license permits GeneSeek to use the technologies as markers to identify hogs that have the potential to improve economics of hog producers operations’ and enhance pork quality for the consumer.
Those markers offer:
A combination of MC4R and HMGA1 could be used for growth and backfat improvement only, or MC4R and HMGA1 could be used together for significant leanness in breeding stock.
Finally, PRKAG3 and CAST could be used together to improve meat quality.Rothschild advises producers and breeders to work together to develop the best multi-gene combination for their herds.