Swine Research Days in Paris: What is new?
Genetic diversity estimated using genomics, development of new criteria and indicators for feed efficiency, product quality: this was the triptych of the genetic session of the 52 Swine Research Days chaired by Florence Ytournel, R&D Director of Choice.
The Swine Research Days (JRP) 2020 took place on the 4th and 5th of February 2020 in Paris. This year marks the first co-organization of this event by IFIP and INRAE (National Institute of Research for Agriculture, Food and Environment), a newly formed institute following the merger of INRA and Irstea. INRAE is now the world’s leading research organization specializing in agriculture, food and environment.
As an introduction, Mr. Philippe Mauguin, CEO of INRAE, outlined the new orientations of this institute. They are based on 5 main pillars: agro-ecology, biodiversity, climate change and risks, food and global health, and finally society and territories (https://www.inrae.fr/). INRAE’s new positioning “science for life, human beings and the earth” echoes Groupe Grimaud’s positioning “caring for life” and bodes well for the fruitful continuation of our collaborations.
The genetics session, chaired by Florence Ytournel, R&D Director of Choice, focused on three main areas: (a) genetic diversity estimated using genomic information, (b) the development of new traits and indicators for feed efficiency and (c) product quality. This rich and varied session echoes the changing concerns of society: maintaining biodiversity, limiting food competition between human beings and animals, ensuring animal welfare, particularly with regard to the castration of piglets, and guaranteeing product traceability.
Additionally, nearly half of the presentations in this session were based on the results of the European Feed-A-Gene project (https://www.feed-a-gene.eu/), whose closing seminar took place on the 22nd and 23rd of January in Rennes. Specifically, it emerged that there is heritable genetic variability between pigs in terms of their ability to digest more fiber-rich raw materials efficiently, for example from co-products. The research undertaken also raises hope for the discovery of blood markers on feed efficiency.
There is still a long way to go before such measures can be routinely implemented in our breeding schemes, but new themes are emerging in order to be able to take care of animals, the planet and humans in a synergistic way.