Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/25/2000
Publication Date: 9/1/2000
Citation: Casas, E. Biotechnology application possibilities in animal breeding in Latin America. XVI Reunion of the Latin-American Association of Animal Production, Monteideo, Uruguay. pp. 1-2.
Technical Abstract: Recent advances in molecular genetics, specifically genetic markers, are being used to improve animal production. Economically important traits are regulated by the combination of genes and the environment. Genes are arranged in chromosomes. Genetic markers are tags along the chromosome and can be used to identify the region, or loci, where the genes of interest reside. Genetic markers have been developed throughout the genome of many domestic animal species. A group of markers within a chromosome is called a linkage group and the group of linkage groups within species is called a linkage map. These maps can be used to identify the chromosomal regions where loci associated with quantitative traits reside. Genetic analysis of animals can now include assessment of specific phenotypic traits and their association with the alleles of a set of genetic markers. Identification of QTL is the basis for marker-assisted selection. Marker-assisted selection has the advantage, over traditional animal breeding schemes, of evaluatin animals at a younger age before phenotypic expression occurs for many traits. Knowledge of each animal's genotype at specific loci provides greater rationale for the assignment of sires and dams to specific mating combinations. Marker-assisted selection has particular application with sex limited traits or with traits difficult and expensive to measure. Selection of sires and dams will include direct assessment of genotypic information as opposed to waiting for phenotypic evaluation of their progeny. Genetic markers can also be used in paternity tests. Other biotechnologies that could improve animal breeding schemes include sperm sexing, in vitro fertilization, and cloning. The methodologies that evolve from bio- technology offer great potential to improve efficiency of animal breeding.