Genetic modification of animals via selective breeding is the basis for modern agriculture. The current breeding paradigm however has limitations, chief among them is the requirement for the beneficial trait to exist within the population. Desirable alleles in geographically isolated breeds, or breeds selected for a different conformation and commercial application, and more importantly animals from different genera or species cannot be introgressed into the population via selective breeding. Additionally, linkage disequilibrium results in low heritability and necessitates breeding over successive generations to fix a beneficial trait within a population. Given the need to sustainably improve animal production to feed an anticipated 9 billion global population by 2030 against a backdrop of infectious diseases and a looming threat from climate change, there is a pressing need for responsive, precise, and agile breeding strategies. The availability of genome editing tools that allow for the introduction of precise genetic modification at a single nucleotide resolution, while also facilitating large transgene integration in the target population, offers a solution. Concordant with the developments in genomic sequencing approaches, progress among germline editing efforts is expected to reach feverish pace. The current manuscript reviews past and current developments in germline engineering in pigs, and the many advantages they confer for advancing animal agriculture.
Keywords: Agriculture; CRISPR/Cas; Gene editing; Swine.
© The Author(s) 2022.