Tech UPTechnologyFrom the Iberian pig, to the genes

From the Iberian pig, to the genes

cerdo-ibericoResearchers from the Veterinary Faculty of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and the Center for Research in Agrigenomics (CRAG), the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona and the National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology in Madrid have finished to publish thefirst partial sequence of the genome of an Iberian pig, from which Iberian ham is obtained. Specifically, using the new high-throughput sequencing techniques, a1% of the total genome. Furthermore, this is the first published porcine sequence. The work, coordinated by ICREA researcher Miguel Pérez-Enciso, has been published in the online edition of the journalHeredity.

The sequenced animal is a female of the Guadyerbas lineage, a very particular line that has been kept isolated (in purity) in an experimental farm of the Junta de Castilla-La Mancha in Oropesa, Toledo, since 1945, thanks to the efforts of researchers of the INIA for years. The Guadyerbas line represents, therefore, one of the feworiginal Iberian pig strains that are kept in our country. They are animals with a lot of appetite, slow growth, very fatty, hairless and with a black coat. The UAB and INIA teams have used these animals in numerous experiments toto identify the genetic basis of the quality of the meat in the Iberian pig. It is expected, therefore, that its complete sequence will give clues about these and other characters.

The study of the regions with the highest differences between white and Iberian pigs will inform researchers and breeders about why an Iberian pig has the special characteristics that make it unique from a genetic point of view. This analysis, even more detailed, must wait until the analysis of thecomplete sequence of the pig, which is being carried out by an international consortium and should be completed this year.

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