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Characterisation of genetic variation in the pig breeds of China and Europe to facilitate the maintenance and exploitation of biodiversity

The purpose of this project is to evaluate and compare the genetic diversity among the pig breeds of China and Europe. At least 50 Chinese breeds will be sampled and compared with the 59 European breeds previously sampled. This will result in the European pig biodiversity database being extended to at least 100 breeds, one third of the world's total number of pig breeds.

The objectives of PigBioDiv2 project are:
1) sample and store DNA from at least 50 Chinese pig breeds
2) show the extent of genetic diversity in the Chinese pig and determine the relationship of these resources with those in Europe by estimating genetic distances based on micro-satellite markers
3) characterise trait gene loci (type I loci and QTL regions) to seek insight into the functional differences between breeds
4) characterise mtDNA and Y-chromosomal sequences to explore the evolution of sire and dam mediated introgression
5) develop new approaches to using DNA marker data to identify genes involved in functional differences between breeds.

Progress to Date
The selection of 50 Chinese breeds to be studied and DNA sampling are underway. A pilot study to evaluate 50 micro-satellite markers used in the first EC pig biodiversity project (PigBioDiv1) has also been initiated. Markers will be evaluated on their robustness (ease of typing) and degree of polymorphism in both European and Chinese pig populations. Work has also begun on developing new markers on the pig Y chromosome and the QTL regions of interest and on mtDNA analysis.


Scientist responsible for the project

Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road
CB2 1QP Cambridge
United Kingdom (The) - GB

Phone: +44 1223 333645
Fax: +44 1223 766423


Project ID QLRT-2001-01059
Organisation PIC International Group Plc
Area 5.1.1
Start date 02 January 2003
Duration (months) 36
Total cost 3 294 381 €
Total EC contribution   1 426 639 €
Status Ongoing
Web address of the project

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