The First Exome Sequence Completed in Pigs

Scientists at Edinburgh Genomics, in collaboration with researchers from The Roslin Institute and PIC (a division of Genus plc), announced that they are the first to complete exome sequencing in the domestic pig, Sus scrofa. A paper describing the work has been published in BMC Genomics, and includes several Edinburgh Genomics staff members as co-authors. The study was led by Mick Watson, a research group leader at The Roslin Institute and Head of Bioinformatics at Edinburgh Genomics. Exome sequencing is a cost-effective strategy to selectively sequence the most important parts of DNA and enables faster genomic progress. The extensive results of this research were generated from a targeted set of 96 pigs representing the known variation in one of PIC’s leading global proprietary populations in order to capture as many mutations as possible. Exome sequencing has been used in humans to aid in the diagnosis of Mendelian disorders (genetic disorders associated with the mutation of a single gene). PIC will use the information derived from this research, which also received funding from the Roslin Foundation and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), to achieve more accurate genomic selection in swine, including work to reduce embryonic and/or fetal death loss in pregnant pigs. Mick Watson, who led the research, said "This is a great example of applied science. Edinburgh Genomics has a lot of expertise in next generation sequencing. The collaboration has enabled PIC to access that expertise and apply it to their pig populations. This is a potentially important step in our bid to tackle the problem of global food security" Professor David Hume, Director of The Roslin Institute and a co-author of the study said: “The development of a novel genomic platform is a significant output from the long term strategic partnership between The Roslin Institute and Genus. Within the Institute, we see many applications of this platform in biomedical research as well as more applied applications in animal breeding.” Dr. Jonathan Lightner, Genus Chief Scientific Officer, congratulated Edinburgh Genomics for a well-conducted study achieving coverage statistics similar to those seen with commercially available human exome kits. He added “PIC will continue to invest in and partner with leading global institutions to develop the next generation of technologies that drive faster genomic progress. We are committed to using these techniques to deliver the best products to our customers.” A link to the research paper can be found at:

About Edinburgh Genomics, PIC and The Roslin Institute

Edinburgh Genomics is a thriving, high impact, international genomics facility based at the University of Edinburgh, providing access to the latest next-generation sequencing, SNP genotyping, microarray and bioinformatics technologies to researchers worldwide. Using our state of the art data generation and analysis equipment, we collaborate with research teams throughout Scotland, the UK and Worldwide to enable leading-edge genomics research in all areas of the biomedical, agricultural and environmental sciences. Edinburgh Genomics was formed in 2013 from the merger of two existing facilities, The GenePool and ARK-Genomics, and has over 25 years combined experience of delivering high-throughput genomics data to collaborators. PIC is the international leader in the provision of continuous genetic improvement in swine breeding stock and in world-class technical support to the global pork supply chain. PIC combines quantitative analytics with leading-edge biotechnology to develop breeding stock that helps our customers maximize profitability. The company, a division of Genus plc and founded in 1962, operates in 30 countries on 6 The Roslin Institute/a> is a National Institute of Bioscience (NIB) which receives Institute Strategic Programme Grant funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). It is a part of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine of the University of Edinburgh. The Institute undertakes research within the framework of BBSRC Institute Strategic Programmes focussed on the health and welfare of animals, and applications of basic animal sciences in human and veterinary medicine, the livestock industry and food security. The Roslin Institute received a total of £11.6M investment from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council in 2012-13.