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Nat Biotechnol. 2001 Aug;19(8):741-5.

Pigs expressing salivary phytase produce low-phosphorus manure.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1G 2W1.

Erratum in

  • Nat Biotechnol 2001 Oct;19(10):979.


To address the problem of manure-based environmental pollution in the pork industry, we have developed the phytase transgenic pig. The saliva of these pigs contains the enzyme phytase, which allows the pigs to digest the phosphorus in phytate, the most abundant source of phosphorus in the pig diet. Without this enzyme, phytate phosphorus passes undigested into manure to become the single most important manure pollutant of pork production. We show here that salivary phytase provides essentially complete digestion of dietary phytate phosphorus, relieves the requirement for inorganic phosphate supplements, and reduces fecal phosphorus output by up to 75%. These pigs offer a unique biological approach to the management of phosphorus nutrition and environmental pollution in the pork industry.

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