The ultimate goal of animal breeding is to manipulate the genetic material of domestic animal species to promote their general improvement. There is presently an intense interest in the new technology created by molecular genetics, i.e. genetic engineering, which has heightened the prospects for the improvement of livestock by giving us a molecular approach to breeding problems. This approach includes the use of recombinant DNA techniques that permit a gene flow between vastly different organisms such as prokaryotes and eukaryotes and also provides a novel way to transfer genes within a species. Included with these strategies are the techniques of somatic genetics where cell fusion can bring about hybrids of different species or polyploids of the same species. Such genetic alterations may result in a broadening of the gene pool, making unique and novel genotypes available for selection. The ability to transcend the current limitations of sexual reproduction and conventional breeding strategies now appear to be a possibility far beyond projections of only a few years ago.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 6. Round tables, , 157–163, 1982
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