Developing a breeding program for the SSTR2 knockout pigs
The SSTR2 knockout boar was a genetically modified pig using CRISPER/Cas9 technology. SSTR2 stands for the modified somatostatin receptor. Somatostatin reduces the production and secretion of the growth hormone in pigs. The knockout gene takes somatostatin receptor out of the boar, theoretically, increasing his growth potential.
The objective of this project was to create a standard operating procedure for a breeding program consisting of the SSTR2 semen. This included training the boar for semen collection, semen evaluation over time, estrus synchronization and artificial insemination of gilts as well as caring for gestating and farrowing gilts and finally farrowing out and caring for the neonate SSTR2 knockout piglets.
The SSTR2 knockout boar was collected and processed for freezing and data collected on his sperm volume collected, sperm motility, total sperm count, dead and or alive sperm cells and finally his semen was also extended. The gilts used for the breeding program were transferred to the research farm and began acclimating to their new settings as well as documented for their estrus cycle for future breeding. Future plans involve artificial inseminating the gilts with the SSTR2’s semen and therefore farrowing SSTR2 piglets.
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Jason Ross