Abstract

Animal breeders have used deliberate selection for livestock Improvement since domestication and, of course, natural selection has been a powerful force since life began. It 1s somewhat sobering for animal geneticists to consider that most of the livestock breeds available today were developed by breeders who likely never read the classic papers by Darwin, Galton, Pearson, Castle, Fisher, Haldane, Wright or Lush. Nevertheless, the eternal optimism of the animal geneticist was stated quite well by Lush (1974), reflecting back on earlier years, that "I admired greatly what the breeders of farm animals had already done, but I had an unshaken faith that they could do still more and could do it more quickly and with fewer mistakes 1f they could use the possibilities that must He In the new and intriguing science of genetics." Much has happened since J.L. Lush took the theoretical quantitative genetics classics of Fisher, Haldane and Wright and put them Into concepts and language that could be understood by students of livestock improvement in h1s book, Animal Breeding Plans (1937). New generations of animal geneticists expanded the theories and gradually developed experimental evidence for these theories and provided definitive plans for application by practicing livestock producers. Summaries of the vast literature on selection theory and experiments can be found in the papers and references cited in the Proceedings of the 1st World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (1974), a review by Barlow (1978), and the Proceedings of a Symposium on Selection Experiments in Laboratory and Domestic Animals, edited by Robertson (1979)

R. M Koch, K. E Gregory, L. V Cundiff

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 5. Plenary sessions, , 514–526, 1982
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