Porcine Stress Syndrome (PSS) may be defined as the range of symptoms shown by pigs which have an abnormally high lia b ility to develop pale, soft, exudative(PSE) meat, and to die suddenly in response to stress. The inheritance of PSS has received increasing attention in recent years, following the development of a variety of methods for predicting lia b ility in the live animal. In particular, research firs t in Holland (Eikelenboom land Minkema, 1974) and then elsewhere suggests that the reaction of the young pig to the anaesthetic halothane is inherited as a single recessive gene. As well as increasing PSS losses, this gene appears to give an economically important improvement in carcase yield, together with reduced litte r productivity. The opportunity therefore now exists to manipulate the frequency of the gene to improve economic efficiency. This paper reviews current knowledge of the genetics of PSS with particular reference to halothane sensitivity, and examines some of the implications for pig breeding programmes and for future research. Detailed aspects of meat quality and physiological and biochemical aspects of PSS have recently been reviewed elsewhere (Lister, 1979; McGloughlin, 1981; Cheah and Cheah, 1982).

A. J Webb, A. E Carden, C. Smith, P. Imlah

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 5. Plenary sessions, , 588–608, 1982
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