Monsanto, based in St. Louis, and MetaMorphix, based in Baltimore, will collaborate on making genetic improvements in pork through genomic technologies.

The joint venture will use MetaMorphix's advanced genomic SNP mapping capabilities, allowing Monsanto scientists to quickly and accurately locate genomes responsible for several important meat-quality, herd-health, reproductive and production traits.

The goal is that producers, packers and consumers will benefit from the technology through the development of more desirable pork products, according to a joint company press release.

"Our agreement with MetaMorphix will extend the application of our genetics tools, enabling Monsanto's customers to more accurately and efficiently deliver improved meat products," says Robb Fraley, chief technology officer at Monsanto. "Combining the genomics capabilities of MetaMorphix with Monsanto's product-development capabilities is an excellent example of Monsanto's dedication to the swine industry."