Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Researcher Part of International Pig Genome Sequencing

Published: Friday, December 07, 2012
Last Updated: Friday, December 07, 2012
Bookmark and Share
An animal scientist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences played a role in the first complete sequencing of the pig genome by an international team of researchers.

The study, conducted by the International Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium, provides a genetic comparison of the domesticated pig and its wild cousins.

The research, described in the cover article of the Nov. 15 issue of the journal Nature, offers clues about how the animal evolved. The article is available at

Wansheng Liu, associate professor of animal genomics in the Department of Animal Science, participated in the study, which includes comparisons of the human, mouse, dog, horse, cow and pig genomes.

Funded mostly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Pork Board, the study promises to expand the usefulness of the pig model in human health and biomedical research, according to Liu.

"The project found variants in 112 genes in the pig genome that were identical to variants implicated in human diseases, including aberrations associated with obesity, diabetes, dyslexia, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease," he said.

"The sequencing of the pig genome represents a remarkable international initiative involving many universities and research centers worldwide."

Liu and his team at Penn State were involved in the construction of a high-resolution gene map with about 10,000 DNA markers. This map serves as a "scaffold" for pig genome sequence assembly and gene annotation, he noted.

The genome of the common farm pig was compared to the genetic makeup of 10 wild boars from locations in Europe and Asia. The genetic evidence found that the pig emerged in Southeast Asia and expanded into Europe before starting to become domesticated about 10,000 years ago.

"This project is a milestone in a long process that started with man's domestication of the pig to produce food," Liu said. "It offers new opportunities for animal geneticists to understand what genes do and what traits of economic importance they control to improve food production."

The comparison with other mammals' genomes found a rapid evolution of genes in the pig associated with immune response and the sense of smell. Pigs and rats have the greatest number of functional olfactory receptor genes possessed by any species, reflecting the importance of smell in a scavenging animal.

"The pig genome sequence provided us the tools to demonstrate that genes in the pig immune system are more similar to those in the human, in comparison with the genes found in the cow or mouse genomes," Liu explained.

"Researchers now have a genetic blueprint with which to integrate information on nutrition, reproduction, meat science, growth and development, and basic biology, which will benefit both production agriculture and biomedical research," he said.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Lung Repair and Regeneration Gene Discovered
New role for hedgehog gene offers better understanding of lung disease.
Wednesday, October 07, 2015
How Blood Cancers Develop
Team urges consideration of cutting-and-pasting errors when using enzymes for gene modification.
Monday, September 14, 2015
Protein That Turns Moles Into Melanoma Cancer Identified
Moles can turn into cancer, if the genetic factors recently identified by a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania were not present in humans.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Study Details Powerful Molecular Promoter of Colon Cancers
Findings show how suppression of microRNA family of molecules leads to intestinal tumors.
Friday, August 07, 2015
Penn and UGA Awarded $23.4 Million Contract for Pathogen Genomics Database
The funding will support the Eukaryotic Pathogen Genomics Database, which provides the global scientific community with free access to a wealth of genomic data related to pathogens important to human health and biosecurity.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Research Shows Alcohol Sensations Influenced by Genes
The research was the first to consider whether variation in the burn receptor gene might influence alcohol sensations.
Friday, September 26, 2014
Scientific News
Revolutionary Technologies Developed to Improve Outcomes for Lung Cancer Patients
Breath test to detect lung cancer brings oxygen directly to the wound.
Dementia Linked to Deficient DNA Repair
Mutant forms of breast cancer factor 1 (BRCA1) are associated with breast and ovarian cancers but according to new findings, in the brain the normal BRCA1 gene product may also be linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
New Gene Map Reveals Cancer’s Achilles’ Heel
Team of researchers switches off almost 18,000 genes
New Discovery Sheds Light on Disease Risk
Gaps between genes interact to influence the risk of acquiring disease.
Mathematical Model Helps Show How Zebrafish Get Their Stripes
The iconic yellow and blue stripes of zebrafish form dynamically as young fish develop and grow. A mathematical model developed by Brown University researchers helps to show how pigment cells interact to form the pattern.
New Tech Vastly Improves CRISPR/Cas9 Accuracy
A new CRISPR/Cas9 technology developed by scientists at UMass Medical School is precise enough to surgically edit DNA at nearly any genomic location, while avoiding potentially harmful off-target changes typically seen in standard CRISPR gene editing techniques.
New Class of RNA Tumor Suppressors Identified
Two short, “housekeeping” RNA molecules block cancer growth by binding to an important cancer-associated protein called KRAS. More than a quarter of all human cancers are missing these RNAs.
Biologists Induce Flatworms to Grow Heads and Brains of Other Species
Findings shed light on role of a new kind of epigenetic signaling in evolution, could yield clues for understanding birth defects and regeneration.
Turning up the Tap on Microbes Leads to Better Protein Patenting
Mining millions of proteins could become faster and easier with a new technique that may also transform the enzyme-catalyst industry, according to University of California, Davis, researchers.
Mathematical Model Forecasts the Path of Breast Cancer
Chances of survival depend on which organs breast cancer tumors colonize first.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos