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Animal Breeding, Genetics, & Genomics

SNP chip to identify DNA markers in the pig

Through funding from NIFA and the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the help of scientists from the US and around the world, the Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium (SGSC) has developed a high density(~60K) SNP chip for pigs.

A SNP chip is a microscope slide on which DNA sequences are immobilized and used by researchers to detect the presence of SNPs or genetic markers within genes. The high density chip holding about 60,000 such genetic markers helps detect variation in DNA components between different individuals.  These markers are then associated with traits like growth rate and backfat or reproduction and disease resistance. The SNPs included for this project was selected from those in public databases on February 1, 2008.

This porcine high density SNP chip is already being employed widely by the porcine research community to drive gene discovery and associated analyses and eventually whole genome selection.

In December 2008 Illumina and the International Porcine SNP Chip Consortium announced that the 60K SNP panel was ready for sale. The consortium achieved the maximum economy of scale across the pig genomic community and in turn achieve the lowest unit cost per chip.

The Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium involves NIFA, ARS, the University of Illinois, Iowa State University, and the National Pork Board. Sequencing of the pig genome continues on schedule with completion expected in 2009.


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