Journal Article

Molecular approaches in pig breeding to improve meat quality

Roberta Davoli and Silvia Braglia

in Briefings in Functional Genomics

Volume 6, issue 4, pages 313-321
Published in print December 2007 | ISSN: 2041-2649
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 2041-2647 | DOI:
Molecular approaches in pig breeding to improve meat quality

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This article reviews the advances in molecular genetics that have led to the identification of genes and markers associated with meat quality in pig. The development of a considerable number of annotated livestock genome sequences represents an incredibly rich source of information that can be used to identify candidate genes responsible for complex traits and quantitative trait loci effects. In pig, the huge amount of information emerging from the study of the genome has helped in the acquisition of new knowledge concerning biological systems and it is opening new opportunities for the genetic selection of this specie. Among the new fields of genomics recently developed, functional genomics and proteomics that allow considering many genes and proteins at the same time are very useful tools for a better understanding of the function and regulation of genes, and how these participate in complex networks controlling the phenotypic characteristics of a trait. In particular, global gene expression profiling at the mRNA and protein level can provide a better understanding of gene regulation that underlies biological functions and physiology related to the delivery of a better pig meat quality. Moreover, the possibility to realize an integrated approach of genomics and proteomics with bioinformatics tools is essential to obtain a complete exploitation of the available molecular genetics information. The development of this knowledge will benefit scientists, industry and breeders considering that the efficiency and accuracy of the traditional pig selection schemes will be improved by the implementation of molecular data into breeding programs.

Keywords: pig; meat quality; QTL; candidate genes; genomic technologies; genetic improvement

Journal Article.  5311 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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