Reduced Environmental Pollution

In an effort to reduce phosphorus excretion in swine manure, researchers at the University of Guelph[12] constructed a transgene to provide expression of phytase in salivary glands of pigs. The saliva of these pigs contains the phytase enzyme that allows the pigs to digest the phosphorus in phytate, which is the most abundant source of phosphorus in the pig diet. Without this enzyme, phosphorus in phytate passes undigested into feces to become the single most important pollutant of swine manure. Their research showed that salivary phytase essentially provides complete digestion of dietary phytate phosphorus, relieves the requirement for inorganic phosphate supplements, and reduces fecal phosphorus output by up to 75%. These pigs offer a unique biological approach to the management of phosphorus nutrition and reduce one of the major environmental pollutants generated on swine farms.

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