PigGS – A project aiming at the implementation of genomic selection in sow lines has started

The project “pigs – novel contributions to the optimization of porc production’ aims at developing a genomic selection program in German sow lines. Genomic selection is based on an innovative method of breeding value estimation which incorporates both phenotypic and genomic data. This will help to include traits related to fertility, health, fitness, longevity and sustainability in the breeding goal.

Based on DNA samples the animals will be genotyped for 60’000 SNP markers. Subsequently the genomic information will be combined with the results of a conventional breeding value estimation. This allows to obtain more reliable breeding values for animals without own, sib, or progeny performance. Based on this, animals can be selected earlier based on more reliably estimated genomic breeding values.

The pigGS project is funded by the State of North Rhine-Westfalia and the European Union and will be accomplished in collaboration with Dr. Ernst Tholen, University of Bonn, and Dr. Bianca Lind, Association for Biotechnology Research (FBF), who also co-ordinates the project.