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trade buyers find tainted eggs through spot checks, the producer faces significant loss as the entire batch must be withdrawn from sale.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 Faba fix for corn's nitrogen need
11.04.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht Wheat research discovery yields genetic secrets that could shape future crops
09.04.2018 | John Innes Centre

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: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>