Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R2918



Summary and Implications

Lactation is an economically important phase in the lifecycle of sows, and events that happen during that period have a big impact on longevity of the sow and therefore profitability of the operation. The difficulty in collecting accurate phenotypes that are required to assess lactation performance, and the inability to evaluate longevity of sows in nucleus herds, highlight the importance of using genomic tools to examine the underlying genetics of these traits. The goal of this project was to conduct genome wide association studies (GWAS) of traits related to lactation in Yorkshire sows using 60k SNP marker information. A 1 Mb region on chromosome 2 (SCC2), which showed strong evidence of linkage disequilibrium, explained around 50% of genetic variation for total weaning weight of litter and litter weight gain for sows in parity 2 and also affected parity 3 phenotypes. These results are extremely encouraging and may be useful in marker assisted or genomic selection to improve lactation performance, especially litter weaning weight of sows in parity 2 and higher.

Copyright Holder

Iowa State University