Biodiversity and Origin of Pig Breeds

Marcel Amills


Worldwide analysis of Sus scrofa genetic diversity with a wide variety of
autosomal, mitochondrial and Y-chromosome markers has allowed to establish that this species was
independently domesticated at multiple sites in Eurasia. Exploratory and commercial journeys favored
the geographical dispersion of pigs from one geographical area to another, being the transportation of
pigs from the Iberian Peninsula to the New World during the 15-17th centuries one of the most
compelling cases. Besides population admixture, selection of morphological, behavioral and
production traits has been another major force shaping the gene pool of current porcine breeds. In the
next years to come, the availability of powerful genomic tools such as high throughput genotyping and
next generation sequencing platforms will be instrumental to decipher the impact of demographic,
migratory and selection processes on the pig genome.

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