Articles | Volume 60, issue 3
04 Aug 2017
Review |  | 04 Aug 2017

Invited review: reproductive physiology in commercial and premium pig breeds – history of 30-year-long cooperation

József Rátky, István Egerszegi, Tamás Páble, Eszter Balogh, Noboru Manabe, Soukanh Keonouchan, and Klaus-Peter Brüssow

Abstract. Cooperation of the Hungarian Research Institute for Animal Breeding and Nutrition (ATK) with the German Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN) goes back many decades. In 1988 the two departments of reproductive biology began a joint project concerning on ovulation investigation in Landrace pigs. This joint project laid the foundation for further joint projects and has existed for almost 30 years. Over the years, the main focus has always been on the events of the female reproductive tract in pigs, i.e., follicular growth, ovulation, transport of gametes in the oviduct, fertilization and early embryonic development. Nearly all studies were done under in vivo circumstances and using different clinical and endocrinological methods, enabling us to obtain more profound knowledge of the dynamics of reproductive processes. Even results considered to be basic scientific achievements were available for utilization in the daily practice of porcine reproductive management. Since the end of the 1990s, the common projects have been gradually shifted to the physiology of the Hungarian indigenous pig breed Mangalica. Research partners were convinced that modern utilization of indigenous pig breeds would open new doors for premium pork production. In addition to the Mangalica breed, this principal was broadened to non-European fatty-type native pig breeds as well and resulted in long-term, intercontinental scientific cooperation.

Short summary
We report on results of a 30-year cooperation between Hungarian and German scientists on reproductive research in female pigs. Several new techniques such as endoscopy and embryo transfer were used to study endocrinology, the ovulatory process and fertilization in pigs. The research was further focused on indigenous Hungarian Mangalica pigs to highlight particularity and support the renaissance of this native pig breed. This bilateral cooperation was broadened to non-European fatty pig breeds.