genetics banner

Animal Genetics

Animal Genetics publishes research on immunogenetics, molecular genetics and functional genomics of economically important and domesticated animals. Publications include the study of variability at gene and protein levels, mapping of gene, traits and QTLs, associations between genes and traits, genetic diversity, and characterization of gene expression and control.

Selecting for breeding animals with superior EBV in growth rate, egg, meat, milk, or wool production, or with other desirable traits has revolutionized livestock production throughout the world.

Animal genetic resources can be embodied in live populations or in conserved genetic materials such as cryoconserved semen or embryos. The diversity of animal genetic resources includes diversity at species and breed and within-breed level. There are currently known to be some 8,800 different breeds within 38 species of birds and mammals that are currently used for food and agriculture. The main animal species used for food and agriculture production are cattle, sheep, goats, chickens and pigs. In the livestock world, these species are often referred to as "the big five". Some less-utilized species include the dromedary, donkey, Bactrian camel, buffalo, guinea pig, horse, rabbit, yak, goose, duck, ostrich, partridge, pheasant, pigeon, and turkey.

The history of animal genetic resources begins about 12,000 to 14,000 years ago. The domestication of major crop and livestock species in the early Neolithic time period changed our human evolution and lifestyles; this ability to control food production led to major demographic, technological, political and military changes. Consecutively, thousands of years of natural and human selection, genetic drift, inbreeding, and crossbreeding have contributed to the diversification of animal genetic resources and increased the variety of environments and production systems that livestock keeping takes place