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OGI Invests $90K in Pig Breeding Biomarker Study at University of Guelph

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Ontario Genomics Institute has awarded C$100,000 ($90,400) to a research project at the University of Guelph that is developing biomarkers to improve the quality of pork.

The university is developing a set of genetic markers that could be used to monitor pig breeding programs to ensure that the pigs are free of boar taint, an odor and an unappetizing flavor that can drastically reduce the value of affected pigs.

The OGI grant, along with a co-investment of unspecified value from the UK firm JSR Genetics, will be used to identify an expanded set of markers that could be used to predict reduced chance of boar taint and to guide breeding programs.

JSR Genetics is providing samples and performance and pedigree data for the project, OGI said.

“As in human health and clinical research applications, the use of genomics technologies for the identification and application of biomarkers reflecting genetic differences within a single species bears great promise, reflecting the applicability of these approaches across a broad spectrum of industry,” OGI’s CEO, Christian Burks, said in a statement.

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