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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 4 (2003), Issue 2, Pages 266-270
Conference review

Advances in Pig Genomics and Functional Gene Discovery

2255 Kildee Hall, Department of Animal Science, Center for Integrated Animal Genomics, Iowa State University, Ames 50011, IA, USA

Received 28 January 2003; Accepted 28 January 2003

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Advances in pig gene identification, mapping and functional analysis have continued to make rapid progress. The porcine genetic linkage map now has nearly 3000 loci, including several hundred genes, and is likely to expand considerably in the next few years, with many more genes and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers being added to the map. The physical genetic map is also growing rapidly and has over 3000 genes and markers. Several recent quantitative trait loci (QTL) scans and candidate gene analyses have identified important chromosomal regions and individual genes associated with traits of economic interest. The commercial pig industry is actively using this information and traditional performance information to improve pig production by marker-assisted selection (MAS). Research to study the co-expression of thousands of genes is now advancing and methods to combine these approaches to aid in gene discovery are under way. The pig's role in xenotransplantation and biomedical research makes the study of its genome important for the study of human disease. This review will briefly describe advances made, directions for future research and the implications for both the pig industry and human health.