Molecular methods in swine breeding and selection are gaining the interest of commercial swine raisers as well as researchers in the country, it was learned from Dr. Synan Baguio, OIC of the Livestock Research Division of PCAARRD.

The technology starts with the collection of blood and extraction of its DNA. This will reveal markers for various desirable traits that can be used in breeding and selection of superior animals, as well as in screening out the genetic defects. This could result in bigger litter size, and also in reducing intervals of farrowing.

Aside from improving the litter size and reduction of farrowing intervals, molecular techniques can also result in the improvement of growth rate, and meat quality. Leaner meat with marbling is preferred by consumers. There are also markers for disease resistance, which can be used in breeding more resistant stocks.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s February 2019 issue.