06 July 1999
GM ‘enviropig’ cuts manure damage

SCIENTISTS have genetically engineered a pig that is able to digest plant phosphorous much more efficiently, thereby reducing the damage caused by pig manure.

The development also means that farmers can cut costs.

The so-called “enviropig” eliminates the need to supplement a pigs diet with phosphorous or, alternatively, the fungal enzyme called phytase, which aids the natural digestion of phosphorous.

The scientists at the University of Guelph created their enviropig by injecting into fertilised embryos a specially constructed transgene.

This is produced by splicing a portion of the gene from a mouses salivary gland with a phytase gene drawn from common intestinal bacteria.

The technique allows pigs to produce phytase in their saliva.

  • Financial Times 06/07/99 page 15