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Pigs are one of the most important domesticated animals and have great value in agriculture and biomedicine. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are a dominant type of genetic variation among individual pigs and contribute to the formation of traits. Precision single base substitution provides a strategy for accurate genetic improvement in pig production with the characterization of functional SNPs and genetic variants in pigs. Base editing has recently been developed as the latest gene-editing tool that can directly make changes in single nucleotides without introducing double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs), providing a promising solution for precise genetic modification in large animals. This review summarizes gene-editing developments and highlights recent genetic dissection related to SNPs in major economic traits which may have the potential to be modified using SNP-editing applications. In addition, limitations and future directions of base editing in pig breeding are discussed.

Ruigao SONG ,   Yu WANG   et al.
Genetic modification techniques, in particular novel gene editing technologies, hold the yet unfulfilled promise of altering genetic traits in farm animals more efficiently than by crossbreeding, allowing for a more rapid development of new cattle breeds with distinct traits. Gene editing technologies allow for the directed alteration of specific traits and thereby have the potential to enhance, for instance, disease resilience, production yield and the production of desired substances in milk. The potential implications of these technological advancements, which are often combined with animal cloning methods, are discussed both for animal health and for consumer safety, also with consideration of available methods for the detection and identification of the related products in the food supply chain. Finally, an overview is provided of current regulatory approaches in the European Union (EU) and major countries exporting beef to the EU, for products from animals bred through established practices as well as modern biotechnologies.

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