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Dutch pig breeds in the gene bank now described

Published on
October 30, 2017

About twenty years ago the first pig semen of pig breeds and breeding lines of the Dutch pig breeding organisations was stored in the gene bank for long term conservation purposes. During more recent years these gene bank collections have been expanded further in close collaboration with the Dutch pig breeding companies. And the gene bank also contains genetic material of research populations.

The breeding industry has played an important role in the development of the Dutch pig sector and in improving the genetic potential of pigs in the Netherlands. Pork is produced by crossbred pigs. Their parents and grandparents are pure bred pigs. The two most important breeds in de Dutch pig breeding are the Dutch Landrace and the Dutch Groot Yorkshire. Around 1930 both breeds were officially recognized as Dutch breeds. Around 1960 different breeding organisations started selection for their own breeding goal. Around 1982 the Dutch Groot Yorkshire population was split up in two breeding goals for a father and mother line respectively. From 1995 onwards breeding organisations and breeding lines have been merged. A couple of years ago the Dutch Landrace was finally merged with the Scandinavian Landrace. Purebred Dutch Landrace pigs will be maintained by an enthusiast group of small scale breeders. 

The gene bank collection of the Centre for Genetic Resources, the Netherlands (CGN) of Wageningen University & Research contains a total number of 20.000 doses of boar semen of 667 different boars. These boars represent 25 breeds/breeding lines. In this report (in Dutch, including an English summary) the origin and characteristics of the pig breeds and breeding lines in the gene bank are described.

Animal Breeding and Genomics