In order to review the use of breeds as dam lines, consideration is given to the definition of breeds and the ways in which breed comparisons are carried out. Comparisons of breeds as purebreds in respect of their reproduction characteristics are reviewed, concentrating on a few major breeds of worldwide distribution. Corresponding information on the performance of breeds as crossbreds is examined and the ways in which this basic information can be used in the choice of dam breeds is considered with discussion of some of the complications arising. Future developments that need to be the subject of further enquiry are the potentialities of the prolific Chinese breeds and the likely arrival of transgenic animals with altered performance characteristics. The international distribution of deep-frozen boar semen is seen as a major opportunity for making comparisons both among breeds and among strains with improved performance characteristics.

J. WB King, E. Avalos

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume X. Breeding programs for swine, poultry, and fish., , 26–34, 1986
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