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Genetic control of nutrient requirements in pigs - LS0703

Sustained genetic improvement in the efficiency of lean meat production by the British pg industry requires that British breeding companies can accurately identify animals of high genetic merit, given performance test information on animals, for subsequent use in breeding programmes. Knowledge of the nutritional requirements of animals of high genetic merit is required, for the performance of animals to be indicitive of their genetic meritand not to be constrained by insufficient nutritional inputs. Both under supply and over supply of nutrients can impair animals` performance and variation between genotypes, in their sensitivity to changes in nutritional inputs has been clearly demonstrated in MAFF project MS0705. The extent of the reduction in animal performance with changes in nutritional inputs is directly related to the genetic merit for efficient lean growth, as animals of high genetic merit are particularily sensitive to nutritional inputs. Knowledege of the genetic control of nutrient requirements would enable the British pig breeding industry to exploit a genotype with nutritional interaction, rather than the interaction acting as a constraint on genetic improvement. Information on the nutritional requirements of animals of high genetic merit is maximised. Secondly, knowledge of the genetic relationships between animal performance, given different nutritional inputs with measure of protein and lipid metabolism will provide information on biologicaql basis for genetic variation efficiency of lean tissue growth and also identify physiological traits which can contribute to increasing the accuracy of predicted genetic merit. Furthermore, information on nutritional requirements, particularily protein intake, of pig genotypes will contribute to a reduction of nitrogen excretion and lead to a more sustainbable production of British pig meat. Therefore the problem to be solved is to quantify and understand the relationship between genetic merit or efficient lean growth and nutritional inputs, as both the whole-animals and physiological levels.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Genetic control of nutrient requirment in pigs   (67k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1998

To: 2001

Cost: £913,924
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Roslin Institute, Edinburgh (BBSRC)
Livestock Farming              
Meat Quality              
Fields of Study