Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MTT develops an effective solution to a worldwide quality problem in hens’ eggs which causes fishy odour in brown eggs

14.06.2005


MTT Agrifood Research Finland has identified in a collaboration with the German Institute for Animal Breeding Mariensee (Federal Agricultural Research Centre, FAL) and Lohmann Tierzucht GmbH a genetic defect, which impairs the quality of brown eggs by producing a fishy odour. The MTT research team has also developed an efficient procedure to test for the defect. Lohmann Tierzucht (LTZ), one of the world’s largest chicken breeding companies, has already begun to apply this procedure, and marketing of the first chicken parent stock free of the defect will begin worldwide at the end of the year.

The fishy taint occurring in brown eggs has caused major problems for chicken breeders, producers and trade in the EU, where most hens’ eggs consumed are of the brown variety. In Finland, however, brown eggs account for less than 10 percent of all eggs sold.

At worst, the smell of rotting fish can be so strong that it persists even the cooking of eggs. When trade buyers find tainted eggs through spot checks, the producer faces significant loss as the entire batch must be withdrawn from sale. The problem is most severe in Central Europe.



The cause of the odour is in a gene which animal biotechnology researchers from MTT mapped. The MTT researchers demonstrated that the genetic defect they had pinpointed is the precondition for the presence of the odour. The result of their findings is to be published in Genomics and can already be viewed at the magazine’s online website. ‘The white chickens do not carry this mutation’ clarified Johanna Vilkki, Principal Research Scientist at MTT and leader of the research team. ‘Furthermore, the eggs of brown chickens do not smell unless chickens which have inherited the genetic defect have been given feed containing an ingredient which triggers the taint, for example rapeseed. Approximately 5–10 percent of brown chickens which consume such feed produce tainted eggs.´

An unequivocal tool for breeding

Through the results of their research MTT have developed a simple and inexpensive procedure for testing chickens. DNA testing is usually done from blood samples, which is not only complicated and expensive, but may also be traumatic for chickens. MTT’s testing procedure only requires one feather to produce an unequivocal result. ‘Cells from the feather shaft indicate whether a chicken has the genetic defect. The procedure makes it possible to select brown chicken lines for crossbreeding to ensure that progeny do not have the genetic defect which causes the odorous taint,’ explains Johanna Vilkki.

An international patent has been sought for the testing procedure. Marketing of selected lines will begin at the end of the year and the first newly-hatched chicks free of the defect will be on sale in August 2006. These hens will be of egg-laying age from the start of 2007. According to Professor Asko Mäki-Tanila, MTT’s Director of Animal Production Research, MTT is currently developing procedures which use molecular genetics to identify hereditary defects in pigs and cattle, too.

Chicken breeding completely phased out in Finland

The discovery of the genetic defect and the development of the testing procedure represent one result of the many years of close cooperation between MTT and Lohmann Tierzucht of Germany, to find solutions to quality defects in hens’ eggs. Germany’s Federal Agricultural Research Centre (FAL) Mariensee also participated in the research. Globally there are now only three chicken breeding companies. Of these, Lohmann Tierzucht is the European market leader. It holds a quarter of the world market and approximately 70 percent of the Finnish market. In Finland chicken breeding was completely phased out some ten years ago.

MTT’s animal biotechnology researchers have previously received international recognition for their work in bovine in vitro fertilization and embryo diagnostics, and in gene mapping in livestock.

Ulla Jauhiainen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.mtt.fi/english/

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp
24.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

nachricht Researchers discover a new link to fight billion-dollar threat to soybean production
14.02.2017 | University of Missouri-Columbia

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>