Youngs, Curtis R. Animal Science Department, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Freeman, A. E. Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University of Science and Technology, Ames, Iowa.
Last reviewed:June 2019
Show previous versions
- Methods of genetic selection
- Factors influencing genetic selection progress
- Purebred strains
- Quantitative genetics
- Reproductive physiology
- Molecular genetics
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The application of genetic principles for improving heredity for economically important traits in domestic animals. The science of animal breeding is based on fundamental genetic concepts. Through controlled mating and selection, which can involve genetic engineering methods, animal breeders attempt to modify animal species with respect to one or more phenotypic traits (Fig. 1). Examples of trait modification include improvement of milk production in dairy cattle, meatiness in pigs, growth rate in beef cattle, fleece weight in sheep, and egg production in chickens. Even after thousands of years of domestication, domestic animals respond readily to genetic selection. Selection permits the best parents to leave more offspring in the next generation than do genetically inferior parents. Many specialized breeds and strains have been developed for the production of meat, fiber, and milk that are adapted to different environmental and economic conditions. See also: Agricultural science (animal); Beef cattle production; Dairy cattle production; Domestication (anthropology); Genetic engineering; Genetics; Poultry production; Sheep; Swine production
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information