The efficiency of pig breeding programs is reflected in genetic gains reported for growth and body composition on the order of 0.5 1.5% of the mean annually.1-1-1 No change of appreciable magnitude had been reported for litter size at birth up to a recent past in most countries, though appreciable genetic gains in piglets born per litter have recently been reported.

Further opportunities will arise from knowledge accumulated on classical, quantitative, and molecular genetics.1-10-1 Specific challenges have to be faced for quality of lean and fat tissue or disease resistance. A better knowledge of the genome and the identification of genetic markers and functional genes are expected to complement conventional breeding plans. Pig breeding will continue to rely basically on the optimal exploitation of the pig reproductive capacity, the efficient use of breeding value evaluation tools, and an adequate management of genetic variability. A well-balanced approach will remain essential in future genetic improvement schemes.

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