Geneticists to tackle boar meat taint
Geneticists at JSR, the leading pig genetics company in
the UK, are joining with research scientists at Ontario's University of Guelph
and representatives from major abattoirs to the address the problem of boar
The overall aim is to eliminate boar taint across different breeds by using
very advanced gene marker technology. The genes responsible for the two
compounds that cause boar taint - androstenone and skatole - will be identified
in an effort to accelerate the 'low taint' selection process.
The focus hitherto by the scientists at Guelph was on two ways of reducing
levels of boar taint compounds. Firstly, by decreasing their synthesis and
increasing their metabolism.
Identifying candidate genes
By now identifying the
candidate genes controlling skatole and androstenone levels and by using markers
responsible for the different functionalities of the genes, an attempt will be
made to identify pigs with undetectable boar taint.
The team has identified a complete set of 140 DNA markers from over 30 genes.
Testing is underway in both the research cohort and animals from commercial
lines to establish those that are most effective.
Director of Research and Genetics at JSR, Dr Grant Walling, commented that
"with the expertise and support of our partners at Guelph, we hope to develop a
line of pigs in which boar taint is not detectable to human taste".
â€¢ JSR Genetics
â€¢ University of Guelph
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