News 537 views last update:Dec 10, 2007

US: Iowa State's new DNA marker technology

Access to genetic markers associated with growth, leanness and meat quality are now available to pork producers across the US.

Iowa State University Foundation has inked a licensing agreement with Nebraska based GeneSeek, to license the use of DNA markers in four genes.

The markers have all been tested and commercially validated, according to the National Pork Board (NPB).

Gene markers
The gene markers are as follows: the first is MC4R, which controls growth and leanness; the second is PRKAG3 relating to pH levels and meat colour; the third CAST, concerns meat tenderness and quality and the fourth is HMGA1 relating to backfat and lean growth.

According to Mark Boggess, director of animal science for NPB, "the markers precede the effort at present to sequence the swine genome and indicate how this research can be applicable on the pig farm. More DNA markers and corresponding technology is to follow".

Related websites:

• IOWA State University Foundation

• GeneSeek

• National Pork Board

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