Progetti di ricerca

PigPhenomics - Applied phenomics and genomics in pigs for the identification and use of new phenotypes in breeding plans

SSD Responsabile del Progetto AGR/17 - Zootecnia generale e miglioramento genetico

Rilevanza Nazionale

Tipologia finanziamento PRIN

Data avvio: 28 February 2019

Data termine: 28 February 2023

Importo: 169.000,00 €


At present, breeding in heavy pigs relies only on few phenotypes that are measured in testing stations on candidate boars and sows or on sibs thereof. More phenotypes are needed to cope with new breeding objectives that may include efficiency traits (to reduce environmental impact per animal) and welfare-related traits (stress resistance and animal resilience) and with societal requests as those focused on ban of male castration which is envisaged in the future also for heavy pigs.
The project, in collaboration with the University of Bologna and the University of Milan, includes three complementary and integrated experimental designs: i) a longitudinal experiment that uses phenomics approaches to define resilience parameters in pigs ii) that are then transferred to the second experimental design based on a performance tested Italian Large White pig population in which metabolomics and genomics are merged to characterize at the genome level novel phenotypes defined following systems biology approaches; iii) the third experimental design links the second experiment exchanging at the genome level information adding possibilities in genomic selection for novel traits including boar taint in boars.

Obiettivi: The project is focused on developing phenomics approaches and derived markers to design novel breeding plans including genomic selection in heavy pig breeds and commercial lines. The main objectives of the project are i) to identify markers (e.g. physiological markers, metabolites, fat compounds for boar taint parameters) useful to describe novel and extensive phenotypes that could address new breeding goals (increased efficiency, welfare, resilience of animals and production systems) and ii) to link these markers to the genetic variability in different heavy pig populations for the development of new breeding plans.