Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
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 2,600+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 3,800+ 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

How Blood Cancers Develop
Team urges consideration of cutting-and-pasting errors when using enzymes for gene modification.
Monday, September 14, 2015
Targeting HIV in Semen to Shut Down AIDS
Breaking up amyloid fibrils in semen makes cells less likely to be infected, Penn pre-clinical study finds.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Study Details ‘Rotten Egg’ Gas’ Role in Autoimmune Disease
The finding unveils several new possible points for therapeutic intervention, with implications for autoimmune diseases as well as other conditions such as cancer and hypertension.
Monday, August 17, 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
Lab-on-a-Chip Offers Promise for TB and Asthma Patients
A device to mix liquids using ultrasonics is the first and most difficult component in a miniaturized system for low-cost analysis of sputum from patients with pulmonary diseases such as tuberculosis and asthma.
Tuesday, August 04, 2015
Self-Assembling, Biomimetic Membranes May Aid Water Filtration
A synthetic membrane that self assembles and is easily produced may lead to better gas separation, water purification, drug delivery and DNA recognition, according to an international team of researchers.
Monday, August 03, 2015
Shale Drilling Chemicals Discovered in Tap Water
Chemicals commonly used for shale drilling were discovered in the tap water of three Pennsylvania homes, according to a new analysis.
Thursday, May 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
Cutting Out the Cellular Middleman
New technology directly reprograms skin fibroblasts for a new role.
Wednesday, December 17, 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
Micropumps for Lab-on-a-Chip Disease Diagnosis
Reliable, inexpensive, programmable pumps could help make the diagnosis of many global life-threatening diseases easy and affordable.
Monday, September 08, 2014
Key to Cleaner Environment may be Right Beneath our Feet
While many people recognize that clean water and air are signs of a healthy ecosystem, most do not realize that a critical part of the environment is right beneath their feet.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Scientific News
13 Ways to Stop an Unseen Force from Disrupting Weighing
Download a free Mettler Toledo paper to discover how to halt static’s negative effects before the next weigh-in.
Flinders Ig Nobel Winner Cracks Global Anaesthetic
One of the world’s most in-demand anaesthetics can now be produced on the spot, thanks to the thermos-flask sized device that recently won Flinders University inventor Professor Colin Raston an Ig Nobel prize.
Resurrected Proteins Double Their Natural Activity
Researchers demonstrate method for reviving denatured proteins.
Genes That Protect African Children From Developing Malaria Identified
Variations in DNA at a specific location on the genome that protect African children from developing severe malaria, in some cases nearly halving a child’s chance of developing the life-threatening disease, have been identified in the largest genetic association study of malaria to date.
Messing With The Monsoon
Manmade aerosols can alter rainfall in the world’s most populous region.
Potential Target for Treatment of Autism
Grant of $2.4 million will support further research.
Scientists Decode Structure at Root of Muscular Disease
Researchers at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine have unlocked the structural details of a protein seen as key to treating a neuromuscular disease.
Sniffing Out Cancer
Scientists have been exploring new ways to “smell” signs of cancer by analyzing what’s in patients’ breath.
New Test Detects All Viruses
A new test detects virtually any virus that infects people and animals, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where the technology was developed.
Inroads Against Leukemia
Potential for halting disease in molecule isolated from sea sponges.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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
2,600+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos