Traits of high or moderate heritability are easily improved by testing and selection. However, for traits of low heritability, improvements come from exploiting heterosis and by the use of BLUP.
Livestock Genetics Ltd. United Kingdom
Rex Walters is a leading pig geneticist.
He studied Animal Science at Wye College (Imperial, University of London) and then stayed on to complete a Master of Philosophy by research in pig genetics. This was followed by a Doctorate in 1984. He spent four years lecturing and doing research, followed by appointment as Livestock Geneticist with the multinational Unilever Agribusiness Group. He then became Technical Director of one of the global Pig Breeding Companies. For more than a decade he has operated an independent consultancy (Livestock Genetics Ltd.) in livestock breeding and genetics with key clients in Asia, Australia, Europe and South America.
Rex is an adviser to several national and international organisations (including the British Pig Association) and is an appointed expert and monitor in livestock breeding and biotechnology to the European Commission in Brussels.
Rex has published, or presented, more than 150 papers on pig breeding and genetics and is a regular invited contributor to international seminars and conferences. He is particularly interested in the practical exploitation of genetics and genetic conservation
Updated CV 30-Jan-2013
Benefits and risks of heterosis and inbreeding in pig production.
Does the complexity and expense of genomics mean that it will only be available to the major global pig breeding companies in the future? If the price of genotyping continues to reduce, it may be possible for medium and smaller size breeding companies to share funding and identify desired genotypes.
One of the greatest long-term potentials for genomic selection is to identify specific genes or genomic regions with a significant impact on pig health and to aid selection for disease resistance and/or disease tolerance.
The key benefits from the use of DNA information are a greater overall genetic progress, improved selection for ‘difficult’ traits such as piglet survival and ...
Teams from 54 research groups, led by the Universities of Edinburgh (UK), Illinois (USA), Uppsala (Sweden) and Wageningen (Netherlands) have sequenced the entire genome of the pig.
The most relevant genetic defects of the skin are epitheliogenesis imperfecta, pitryisis rosea and malignant melanoma. Recent data suggest an increase of the melanoma incidence in Duroc bred, incidences of 2.60% and 0.62% have been found in two Duroc nucleus herds.