Animal Biotechnology

Electronic Journal of Biotechnology ISSN: 0717-3458 Vol. 9 No. 2, Issue of April 15, 2006
© 2006 by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso -- Chile Received March 17, 2005 / Accepted October 25 , 2005

DOI: 10.2225/vol9-issue2-fulltext-7


Genetic engineering applications in animal breeding

Hugo H. Montaldo
Departamento de Genética y Bioestadística
Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Ciudad Universitaria, México 04510, D.F., Mexico
Tel: 52 55 5622 5894
Fax: 52 55 5622 5956

Keywords: Adult mammalian cloning, biotechnology, gene mapping, GMOS, MAS, QTL, transgenics.


ES: embryonic stem cells
ESR: estrogen receptor locus
IGF-I: insulin-like growth factor I
MAS: Marker-assisted selection
QTL: quantitative trait loci

Abstract Reprint (PDF)

This paper discusses the use of genetic engineering applications in animal breeding, including a description of the methods, their potential and current uses and ethical issues. Genetic engineering is the name of a group of techniques used to identify, replicate, modify and transfer the genetic material of cells, tissues or complete organisms. Important applications of genetic engineering in animal breeding are: 1) Marker-assisted selection (MAS). The objective of this technology is to increase disease resistance, productivity and product quality in economically important animals by adding information of DNA markers to phenotypes and genealogies for selection decisions. 2) Transgenesis, the direct transfer of specific genes/alleles between individuals, species, or even Kingdoms, in order to change their phenotypic expression in the recipients. Compared to the ‘traditional' improvement techniques based on phenotypic information only, these gene-by-gene techniques allow theoretically a more complete management of animal genomes for animal breeding. In spite of high expectations and new technical developments, its actual efficiency is not always high, as they require a thorough knowledge of functional genomics, and pose additional technical, economical and ethical problems. The possible role for cloning adult animals in breeding is also discussed.

Supported by UNESCO / MIRCEN network 
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