In this 66th episode of the Real P3 podcast, which is the second in the series featuring swine research presented at the American Association of Animal Science (ASAS) Annual Meeting in the US in June, Dr Casey Bradley speaks to Dr Christine Bone about her research on boar taint.
Dr Bone grew up in Ontario and gained a lot of experience at an early age when her interest in pigs and agriculture began. She later went to the University of Guelph. Today, her research aims to determine markers in boars to predict both early or late puberty and ultimately boar taint.
Bone discusses what boar taint is. “When we’re talking about boar taint, it is about the balance between the synthesis of these compounds as well as their metabolism,” she says, adding that many different factors influence how much of these compounds are produced, and broken down and excreted.
Her ultimate goal: “We want the full potential of the boar without the boar taint,” she says, adding that this is a major challenge because of the individual variability between animals. The goal, she says, is to identify the sources of individual variability on a genetic basis, and then tailor treatments to the individual animals based on their ability to respond favourably.
Bradley asks Bone about her research in terms of fertility and sustainability, and Bone also talks about natural solutions and what they are experimenting with, including Chinese medicinal herbs. She turns the tables on Casey and asks for her thoughts on nutrition in relation to boar taint.