Acceligen, a leading innovator in sustainable agriculture, has announced the breeding of gene-edited pigs with resistance to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS).
This breakthrough represents a significant step forward in the pursuit for sustainable and ethical pork production.
PRRS is the most devastating disease to the swine industry in the United States, affecting not only the productivity of pigs, but also their health and wellness. This regularly occurring and complex disease has been documented to cause an estimated $500 million USD of losses to the pork producers, thus affecting the food security of countless people around the world.
Deploying protein modifications developed by Kansas State University, Acceligen is able to breed pigs naturally resistant to PRRS. The use of new breeding technology enabled by gene-editing to prevent PRRS will improve the overall animal well-being leading to healthier animals and a safer food supply. Breeding of pigs naturally resistant to PRRS may reduce the environmental impact of pork production by improving efficiency. The resistance to PRRS virus infection was proven effective through a collaboration with Professor Bob Rowland at the University of Illinois.
“This is an exciting time to be at the forefront of this impactful breeding application in sustainable agriculture,” said Tad Sonstegard, CEO of Acceligen. “Our goal is to use the best tools for breeding and selection to create a better future for animals, farmers, consumers and the environment. Gene-editing is one of the most powerful breeding tools that allows us to address some of the biggest challenges facing the pork industry and to create a more sustainable and ethical food system.”