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Cytogenet Genome Res. 2003;102(1-4):95-9.

From a sow's ear to a silk purse: real progress in porcine genomics.

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  • Department of Animal Science, Center for Integrated Animal Genomics, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA. mfrothsc@iastate.edu


An incredible amount of progress has occurred in the past decade since the pig genome map began to develop. The porcine genetic linkage map now has nearly 5,000 loci including several hundred genes, microsatellites and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers being added to the map. Thanks to somatic cell hybrid panels and then radiation hybrid panels the physical genetic map is also growing rapidly and now has over 4,000 genes and markers. Many quantitative trait loci (QTL) scans have been completed and together with candidate gene analyses have identified important chromosomal regions and individual genes associated with traits of economic interests. Using marker assisted selection (MAS) the commercial pig industry is actively using this information and traditional performance information to improve pig production. Large scale pig arrays are just now beginning to be used and co-expression of thousands of genes is now advancing our understanding of gene function. The pig's role in xenotransplantation and biomedical research makes the study of its genome important for the study of human disease. Sequencing of the pig genome appears on the near horizon. This commentary will discuss recent advances in pig genomics, directions for future research and the implications to both the pig industry and human health.

Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

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