Researcher Björn Petersen and his colleagues have used CRISPR/Cas gene editing to remove a group of genes that determine pigs’ gender.
They got offspring that had the Y gene that makes them male, yet they looked like females with smaller-than-normal sex organs.
They were sterile.
This leads the research team to speculate that it should be possible to eliminate the gene or genes that control the production of skatol. That makes pork from mature males objectionable because, when cooked, there is a strong offenseive odour.
It could lead to a better alternative than castration.
The technology and research might also provide an animal model for investigating human sex determination and sex development disorders.