Topigs Norsvin

Beuningen, Netherlands

Topigs Norsvin

Beuningen, Netherlands
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Munsterhjelm C.,University of Helsinki | Nordgreen J.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Aae F.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Heinonen M.,University of Helsinki | And 4 more authors.
Physiology and Behavior | Year: 2017

Tail biting is detrimental to animal welfare and has negative consequences for producer economy. Poor health is one of the risk factors for tail biting. The first aim of this study was therefore to test for links between health status and behavior related to tail biting at the individual level. The second aim of this study was to test whether variation in cytokines was related to variation in social behavior. These small molecules produced upon immune activation are known to influence behavior both in the direction of withdrawal and increased aggression. This could potentially increase non-functional social behavior and thereby the risk of a tail biting outbreak. To investigate this, we collected behavioral data, health data, feeding data and blood samples from undocked boars at a test station farm in Norway. We compared groups with three different diagnoses: osteochondrosis diagnosed by computer tomography scanning (OCSAN), osteochondrosis diagnosed by clinical examination (OCCLIN) and respiratory tract disease (RESP), with healthy controls (CTR). We tested whether the diagnoses were associated with feeding and growth, social behavior and cytokine levels. We then tested whether there were correlations between cytokine levels and social behavior. We also provide raw data on cytokine levels in the extended sample (N = 305) as there are few publications on cytokine levels measured in pigs living under commercial conditions. OCCLIN pigs visited the feeder less, and fed longer compared to CTR pigs. Pigs diagnosed with RESP showed a large drop in growth the first week after filming, which corresponds to the week they were likely to have been diagnosed with illness, and a tendency to compensatory increase in the week after that. Social behavior differed between experimental groups with OCSCAN pigs receiving more social behavior (both aggressive and non-aggressive) compared to CTR, and RESP pigs tending to perform more ear- and tail-biting than controls. There were no differences in absolute levels of cytokines between categories. However IL1-ra and IL-12 showed correlations with several behaviors that have been shown by others to be associated with current or future tail biting activity. To our knowledge, this is the first published study indicating a role for illness in non-functional social behavior in pigs and the first showing a correlation between cytokine levels and social behavior. © 2017


Veroneze R.,Wageningen University | Bastiaansen J.W.,Wageningen University | Knol E.F.,Topigs Norsvin | Guimaraes S.E.,Federal University of Viçosa | And 4 more authors.
BMC genetics | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Genomic selection and genomic wide association studies are widely used methods that aim to exploit the linkage disequilibrium (LD) between markers and quantitative trait loci (QTL). Securing a sufficiently large set of genotypes and phenotypes can be a limiting factor that may be overcome by combining data from multiple breeds or using crossbred information. However, the estimated effect of a marker in one breed or a crossbred can only be useful for the selection of animals in another breed if there is a correspondence of the phase between the marker and the QTL across breeds. Using data of five pure pig (Sus scrofa) lines (SL1, SL2, SL3, DL1, DL2), one F1 cross (DLF1) and two commercial finishing crosses (TER1 and TER2), the objectives of this study were: (i) to compare the equality of LD decay curves of different pig populations; and (ii) to evaluate the persistence of the LD phase across lines or final crosses.RESULTS: Almost all of the lines presented different extents of LD, except for the SL2 and DL3, both of which exhibited the same extent of LD. Similar levels of LD over large distances were found in crossbred and pure lines. The crossbred animals (DLF1, TER1 and TER2) presented a high persistence of phase with their parental lines, suggesting that the available porcine single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip should be dense enough to include markers that have the same LD phase with QTL across crossbred and parental pure lines. The persistence of phase across pure lines varied considerably between the different line comparisons; however, correlations were above 0.8 for all line comparisons when marker distances were smaller than 50 kb.CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that crossbred populations could be very useful as a reference for the selection of pure lines by means of the available SNP chip panel. Here, we also pinpoint pure lines that could be combined in a multiline training population. However, if multiline reference populations are used for genomic selection, the required density of SNP panels should be higher compared with a single breed reference population.


PubMed | Wageningen University, Federal University of Viçosa and Topigs Norsvin
Type: | Journal: BMC genetics | Year: 2015

Genomic selection and genomic wide association studies are widely used methods that aim to exploit the linkage disequilibrium (LD) between markers and quantitative trait loci (QTL). Securing a sufficiently large set of genotypes and phenotypes can be a limiting factor that may be overcome by combining data from multiple breeds or using crossbred information. However, the estimated effect of a marker in one breed or a crossbred can only be useful for the selection of animals in another breed if there is a correspondence of the phase between the marker and the QTL across breeds. Using data of five pure pig (Sus scrofa) lines (SL1, SL2, SL3, DL1, DL2), one F1 cross (DLF1) and two commercial finishing crosses (TER1 and TER2), the objectives of this study were: (i) to compare the equality of LD decay curves of different pig populations; and (ii) to evaluate the persistence of the LD phase across lines or final crosses.Almost all of the lines presented different extents of LD, except for the SL2 and DL3, both of which exhibited the same extent of LD. Similar levels of LD over large distances were found in crossbred and pure lines. The crossbred animals (DLF1, TER1 and TER2) presented a high persistence of phase with their parental lines, suggesting that the available porcine single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip should be dense enough to include markers that have the same LD phase with QTL across crossbred and parental pure lines. The persistence of phase across pure lines varied considerably between the different line comparisons; however, correlations were above 0.8 for all line comparisons when marker distances were smaller than 50 kb.This study showed that crossbred populations could be very useful as a reference for the selection of pure lines by means of the available SNP chip panel. Here, we also pinpoint pure lines that could be combined in a multiline training population. However, if multiline reference populations are used for genomic selection, the required density of SNP panels should be higher compared with a single breed reference population.


Roca J.,University of Murcia | Parrilla I.,University of Murcia | Bolarin A.,Topigs Norsvin | Martinez E.A.,University of Murcia | Rodriguez-Martinez H.,Linköping University
Theriogenology | Year: 2016

AI is commercially applied worldwide to breed pigs, yielding fertility outcomes similar to those of natural mating. However, it is not fully efficient, as only liquid-stored semen is used, with a single boar inseminating about 2000 sows yearly. The use of liquid semen, moreover, constrains international trade and slows genetic improvement. Research efforts, reviewed hereby, are underway to reverse this inefficient scenario. Special attention is paid to studies intended to decrease the number of sperm used per pregnant sow, facilitating the practical use of sexed frozen-thawed semen in swine commercial insemination programs. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | University of Murcia, Topigs Norsvin and Linköping University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Theriogenology | Year: 2016

AI is commercially applied worldwide to breed pigs, yielding fertility outcomes similar to those of natural mating. However, it is not fully efficient, as only liquid-stored semen is used, with a single boar inseminating about 2000 sows yearly. The use of liquid semen, moreover, constrains international trade and slows genetic improvement. Research efforts, reviewed hereby, are underway to reverse this inefficient scenario. Special attention is paid to studies intended to decrease the number of sperm used per pregnant sow, facilitating the practical use of sexed frozen-thawed semen in swine commercial insemination programs.


de Hollander C.A.,Wageningen University | Knol E.F.,Topigs Norsvin | Heuven H.C.M.,Wageningen University | van Grevenhof E.M.,Wageningen University
Livestock Science | Year: 2015

This study studied the relation between longevity, the interval from last insemination to culling in days (IL2C) with 7 different cull classes; 1. Reproduction cull class, 2. Production cull class, 3. Locomotion cull class, 4. Accident cull class, 5. General disorder cull class, 6. Peri-partum cull class and 7. Unknown cull class. Overall, the most important cull classes were reproduction (19%) and production (50%). The IL2C for production (146.3±1.2) and reproduction (87.4±1.9) were significantly different from each other but also from locomotion (127.0±3.6), accident (120.1±7.3), general disorder (105.4±5.5), peri-partum (109.6±5.7) cull classes. Sows that were culled for production reasons had significantly the highest average parity number at culling (4.6±0.2) compared to all other culling reasons such as reproduction (3.1±0.2), locomotion (2.3±0.3), accident (2.9±0.5), general disorder (3.3±0.4) and peri-partum (3.3±0.4) cull classes. Furthermore, it was found that age in days, parity number at culling and IL2C showed to be heritable traits (0.13±0.05, 0.16±0.05 and 0.10±0.04 respectively). The genetic correlation between parity number at culling and IL2C was not significantly different from 0 (-0.04±0.28). Because IL2C is a heritable trait and sows that are culled within the production cull class obtain on average a higher parity and show the longest IL2C, this study showed the potential to select on longer IL2C and thereby select against sows to be culled within the reproduction, locomotion, accident, general disorder and peri-partum cull class and to be culled at the end of a parity. © 2015 Elsevier B.V..


Sevillano C.A.,Wageningen University | Lopes M.S.,Wageningen University | Harlizius B.,Topigs Norsvin | Hanenberg E.H.,Topigs Norsvin | And 2 more authors.
Genetics, selection, evolution : GSE | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: Cryptorchidism and scrotal/inguinal hernia are the most frequent congenital defects in pigs. Identification of genomic regions that control these congenital defects is of great interest to breeding programs, both from an animal welfare point of view as well as for economic reasons. The aim of this genome-wide association study (GWAS) was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are strongly associated with these congenital defects. Genotypes were available for 2570 Large White (LW) and 2272 Landrace (LR) pigs. Breeding values were estimated based on 1 359 765 purebred and crossbred male offspring, using a binary trait animal model. Estimated breeding values were deregressed (DEBV) and taken as the response variable in the GWAS.RESULTS: Heritability estimates were equal to 0.26 ± 0.02 for cryptorchidism and to 0.31 ± 0.01 for scrotal/inguinal hernia. Seven and 31 distinct QTL regions were associated with cryptorchidism in the LW and LR datasets, respectively. The top SNP per region explained between 0.96% and 1.10% and between 0.48% and 2.77% of the total variance of cryptorchidism incidence in the LW and LR populations, respectively. Five distinct QTL regions associated with scrotal/inguinal hernia were detected in both LW and LR datasets. The top SNP per region explained between 1.22% and 1.60% and between 1.15% and 1.46% of the total variance of scrotal/inguinal hernia incidence in the LW and LR populations, respectively. For each trait, we identified one overlapping region between the LW and LR datasets, i.e. a region on SSC8 (Sus scrofa chromosome) between 65 and 73 Mb for cryptorchidism and a region on SSC13 between 34 and 37 Mb for scrotal/inguinal hernia.CONCLUSIONS: The use of DEBV in combination with a binary trait model was a powerful approach to detect regions associated with difficult traits such as cryptorchidism and scrotal/inguinal hernia that have a low incidence and for which affected animals are generally not available for genotyping. Several novel QTL regions were detected for cryptorchidism and scrotal/inguinal hernia, and for several previously known QTL regions, the confidence interval was narrowed down.


Da Silva C.L.A.,Wageningen University | van den Brand H.,Wageningen University | Laurenssen B.F.A.,Wageningen University | Broekhuijse M.L.W.J.,Topigs Norsvin | And 3 more authors.
Animal | Year: 2016

The objective of this study was to investigate relationships between ovulation rate (OR) and embryonic and placental development in sows. Topigs Norsvin® sows (n=91, parity 2 to 17) from three different genetic backgrounds were slaughtered at 35 days of pregnancy and the reproductive tract was collected. The corpora lutea (CL) were counted and the number of vital and non-vital embryos, embryonic spacing (distance between two embryos), implantation length, placental length, placental weight and embryonic weight were assessed. The difference between number of CL and total number of embryos was considered as early embryonic mortality. The number of non-vital embryos was considered as late mortality. Relationships between OR and all other variables were investigated using two models: the first considered parity as class effect (n=91) and the second used a subset of sows with parities 4 to 10 (n=47) to analyse the genetic background as class effect. OR was significantly affected by parity (P<0.0001), but was not affected by the genetic background of the sows. Parity and genetic background did not affect embryonic and placental characteristics at 35 days of pregnancy. OR (varying from 17 to 38 CL) was positively related with early embryonic mortality (β=0.49±0.1 n/ovulations, P<0.0001), with late embryonic mortality or number of non-vital embryos (β=0.24±0.1 n/ovulations, P=0.001) and with the number of vital embryos (β=0.26±0.1 n/ovulations, P=0.01). However, dividing OR in four classes, showed that the number of vital embryos was lowest in OR class 1 (17 to 21 CL), but not different for the other OR classes, suggesting a plateau for number of vital embryos for OR above 22. There was a negative linear relationship between OR and vital embryonic spacing (β=−0.45±0.1 cm/ovulation, P=0.001), implantation length (β=−0.35±0.1 cm/ovulation, P=0.003), placental length (β=−0.38±0.2 cm/ovulation, P=0.05) and empty space around embryonic-placental unit (β=−0.4±0.2 cm/ovulation, P=0.02), indicating uterine crowding. Further analyses showed that effects of OR on embryonic and uterine parameters were related with the increase in late mortality and not early embryonic mortality. Therefore, we conclude that a high OR results in an moderate increase in the number of vital embryos at day 35 of pregnancy, but compromises development in the surviving embryonic/placental units, suggesting that the future growth and survival of the embryos might be further compromised. © The Animal Consortium 2016


Broekhuijse M.L.,Topigs Norsvin Research Center | Gaustad A.H.,Topigs Norsvin | Gaustad A.H.,Hedmark University College | Bolarin Guillen A.,Topigs Norsvin AIM Iberica | Knol E.F.,Topigs Norsvin Research Center
Reproduction in domestic animals = Zuchthygiene | Year: 2015

Diluting semen from high fertile breeding boars, and by that inseminating many sows, is the core business for artificial insemination (AI) companies worldwide. Knowledge about fertility results is the reason by which an AI company can lower the concentration of a dose. Efficient use of AI boars with high genetic merit by decreasing the number of sperm cells per insemination dose is important to maximize dissemination of the genetic progress made in the breeding nucleus. However, a potential decrease in fertility performance in the field should be weighed against the added value of improved genetics and, in general, is not tolerated in commercial production. This overview provides some important aspects that influence the impact of low-dose AI on fertility: (i) the importance of monitoring field fertility, (ii) the need for accurate and precise semen assessment, (iii) the parameters that are taken into account, (iv) the application of information from genetic and genomic selection and (v) the optimization when using different AI techniques. Efficient semen production, processing and insemination in combination with increasing use of genetic and genomic applications result in maximum impact of genetic trend. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


PubMed | Wageningen University and Topigs Norsvin
Type: | Journal: Genetics, selection, evolution : GSE | Year: 2015

Cryptorchidism and scrotal/inguinal hernia are the most frequent congenital defects in pigs. Identification of genomic regions that control these congenital defects is of great interest to breeding programs, both from an animal welfare point of view as well as for economic reasons. The aim of this genome-wide association study (GWAS) was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are strongly associated with these congenital defects. Genotypes were available for 2570 Large White (LW) and 2272 Landrace (LR) pigs. Breeding values were estimated based on 1 359 765 purebred and crossbred male offspring, using a binary trait animal model. Estimated breeding values were deregressed (DEBV) and taken as the response variable in the GWAS.Heritability estimates were equal to 0.26 0.02 for cryptorchidism and to 0.31 0.01 for scrotal/inguinal hernia. Seven and 31 distinct QTL regions were associated with cryptorchidism in the LW and LR datasets, respectively. The top SNP per region explained between 0.96% and 1.10% and between 0.48% and 2.77% of the total variance of cryptorchidism incidence in the LW and LR populations, respectively. Five distinct QTL regions associated with scrotal/inguinal hernia were detected in both LW and LR datasets. The top SNP per region explained between 1.22% and 1.60% and between 1.15% and 1.46% of the total variance of scrotal/inguinal hernia incidence in the LW and LR populations, respectively. For each trait, we identified one overlapping region between the LW and LR datasets, i.e. a region on SSC8 (Sus scrofa chromosome) between 65 and 73 Mb for cryptorchidism and a region on SSC13 between 34 and 37 Mb for scrotal/inguinal hernia.The use of DEBV in combination with a binary trait model was a powerful approach to detect regions associated with difficult traits such as cryptorchidism and scrotal/inguinal hernia that have a low incidence and for which affected animals are generally not available for genotyping. Several novel QTL regions were detected for cryptorchidism and scrotal/inguinal hernia, and for several previously known QTL regions, the confidence interval was narrowed down.

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