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FEEDSTUFFS IN FOCUS: Swine genetics and robustness to disease

Robustness to disease has a clear genetic component. Swine geneticist Jenelle Dunkelberger with Topigs Norsvin explains the latest science and how her colleagues are working to improve selection for that critical trait.

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Good pigs start with good genetics. As our understanding of the animal’s genetic code deepens and technology advances, so does the industry’s ability to enhance and influence a suite of traits and characteristics. One relatively new area of focus is breeding pigs for increased natural robustness to disease – in other words, breeding pigs that are hardier in the face of disease pressure and are even less likely to get sick in the first place.

This episode of Feedstuffs In Focus is sponsored by Topigs Norsvin, the second largest swine genetics company in the world. Topigs Norsvin’s unique breeding program is designed to accelerate genetic progress at the customer level by creating innovative products and solutions that benefit the entire pork production chain.

Jenelle Dunkelberger earned her doctorate in genetics at Iowa State University, where she studied the role of host genetics in susceptibility to viral disease in pigs. Since completing her graduate studies, she’s spent the past three years applying her research to the genetic programs at Topigs Norsvin. In this episode, Dunkelberger explains what she and her colleagues have learned about the role of genetics in managing swine diseases.

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