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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: What Are Genetic Markers, and What Can They Tell Us?

item Grosz, Michael

Submitted to: Bovine Connection Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 17, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Since the dawn of organized agriculture, farmers and animal breeders have been making selection decisions which significantly impact the productivity of their operation. Historically, these decisions have been based on readily observable traits, such as weight, milk production, yield, etc. These selection practices have been highly successful in improving agricultural production. With the advent of DNA technologies, the prospect of even higher rates of improvement can be realized. However, in order to fully exploit the promise of new technologies, a broad-based understanding of how this new technology works must exist. By definition, quantitative traits are influenced by more than one gene. It is likely that most quantitative traits are actually influenced both by hundreds (if not thousands) of individual genes (each with a varying amount of influence over the resulting phenotype) as well as environmental factors. Current research is directed toward the identification of genomic regions which contain major genes influencing quantitative traits of economic importance. The purpose of this manuscript is to inform readers as to the background and theory of marker-assisted selection, and also provide an update of current research efforts underway at Fort Keogh.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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