In quantitative genetic research ample justification exists for the use of laboratory animals in general (Chapman, 1951 and 1961; Robertson, 1959 and 1967a; Kojima and Kelleher, 1961; Roberts, 1965; Fredeen, 1966, and Falconer, 1967), and for Drosophila in ' particular (F. W. Robertson, 1956). However, there is need to remind ourselves, and our administrators, of the important place laboratory animals must hold in the application of genetics to animal production. This paper further demonstrates the usefulness of Drosophila research by mentioning some recent findings with obvious implications for animal breeding, and some present problems, the solution of which would be assisted by further laboratory work. Direct extrapolation of such results to specific livestock breeding programs is not implied and should be guarded against, as previous reviewers have stressed. However, the present state of quantitative genetics makes Drosophila an efficient tool to obtain a better understanding of the nature of quantitative genetic variation and to study the general behaviour of quantitative characters in populations where this variation is being manipulated.

K. Hammond

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 1, Madrid, Spain, 425–437, 1974
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