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Animal Genetics and Breeding

MARIO S. SUBA, Ph. D.


Professor
Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture
Central Luzon State University

TOPICAL OUTLINE

I. Genetics  Genes and Their Roles in Animal Productivity


 The Mechanics of Inheritance
 Genes in Population

II. Animal Breeding  Objectives of Animal Breeding


 Selection – Methods
 Systems of Breeding

III. Reproduction  Relationship to animal breeding and genetic improvement of


farm animals

IV. Biotechnologies  Genetic Improvement Program (GIP)


 Artificial Insemination (AI)
 IVM/IVF/ET Techniques
 Transgenics and Cloning

DEFINITION OF TERMS

Genetics - A science that deals with heredity and variation

- Laws of similarities and dissimilarities of individuals related by


descent

Animal genetics - Principles of inheritance and variation exclusive to animals

Animal breeding - Application of genetic principles to improve animal performance

Animal reproduction - Physical and physiological processes from fertilization to the


development of the young

Statistics - fundamental tool used in assessing the extent of improvement in


animal performance

BASIC CONCEPTS OF GENETICS

Nucleus Outside nucleus


Cytoplasmic organelles

Chromosomes Mitochondria
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Plastids

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) Extranuclear inheritance/


Non-Mendelian inheritance

Genes Basic unit of inheritance

Functions of the Gene

1. Store and transmit genetic information from cell to cell (cell division) and from parents to
offsprings (meiosis and fertilization)
2. Copy or replicate itself with great consistency and precision
3. Undergo mutation or errors in copying which would undergo subsequent copying and
replication

Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

Genetics - DNA multiplication

Transcription - RNA synthesis

Translation - Protein synthesis (amino acids for hormone and enzymes)

Mendelian/Non-Mendelian Inheritance

Nuclear DNA - Basis of Mendelian inheritance; universal genetic material

Extranuclear or - Also act as agents for hereditary transmission


Cytoplasmic elements

Maternal inheritance or - Governed by cytoplasmic genes


Maternal effects

Cytoplasmic organelles involved in Non-Mendelian inheritance:

1. Mitochondria - With protein synthesizing apparatus, with RNA’s

Example:

Frogs – mtDNA can be inherited maternally

Snails – coiling to the right (dextral); coiling to the left (sinistral)

2. Plastids - In plants (chlorophyll)

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Non-Mendelian Inheritance

Linkage – some genes are grouped or “linked” together

A. Sex Linkage

Genome – autosomes and sex chromosomes

Sex Chromosome Pair


Class of Animals
Male Female
Mammals XY YY
BIRDS ZZ ZW

XX and ZZ are homogametic


XY and ZW are heterogametic

Sex-linked genes are responsible for the following diseases such as:

A-gammaglobulinemia - Inability to produce γ-globulins resulting to susceptibility


to (diseases) infections

Hemophilia - Inability to produce blood clotting substance that can lead


to profuse bleeding

Red green colorblindness - Inability to distinguish or see red or green colors

B. Autosomal Linkage

Autosomes carry genetic material but do not identify sex of an individual.

Chromosomes as a chain of genes linked together such that genes that are more closely
linked tend to be inherited together often than those that are located further in the same
chromosome.

C. Non-nuclear Inheritance

Non-nuclear inheritance occurs outside the nucleus

In plants - Chlorophyll-bearing plants

In animals - Mitochondria with their protein synthesizing apparatus and DNA

Maternal influence - Maternal effects form part of the total environment which can
affect its characters or traits

Example:

Disease resistance – passive immunity during suckling stage

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(colostrum)

Milk production

GENE ACTIONS

Genes - Active only when they occur in pairs of alleles during the diploid phase

Alleles - Genes that occupy the same locus or position in the paired chromosomes

Roles Performed by Genes

Structural genes - Directly responsible for the synthesis of certain biochemical products
(hormones and enzymes) during cell metabolism

Regulator genes - control and regulate the functions (ON/OFF) of other genes (operator)

Actions of genes maybe detected only from the phenotype

Action of genes maybe in any or a combination of the following types:

Intra-allelic interaction - Additive (cumulative)

- Dominance (complete; partial or incomplete)

- Overdominance

Inter-allelic or Non-allelic interaction - Epistasis (complementary or inhibitory)

GENES IN POPULATION

Population - Group of individuals sharing a common gene pool

Gene pool - Totality of the genes that could potentially be transmitted by individuals in a
population in the next generation

Genetic Composition of Animal Populations

Individuals - Characterized by their distinctive genotypes

Populations - Characterized by the frequencies in which the genes and


genotypes occur in them

Gene frequency - Relative abundance or rarity of a gene compared to its own allele
in the same population

Equilibrium population - Governed by Hardy Weinberg Law or simply H-W Law

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Gene composition - May remain in constant or in equilibrium – a state where no
change occur

Hardy Weinberg Law - In an indefinitely large population undergoing random mating, the
gene or genotypic frequencies will remain constant from
generation to generation provided that there are no selection,
migration, mutation and random genetic drift

FACTORS AFFECTING CHANGE IN THE GENETIC COMPOSITION OF POPULATION

Selection - Certain genotypes contribute more progeny compared to other


genotypes because they were selected to be the parents of the
next generation

Migration - Individual from one population transfer to another population

Mutation - Spontaneous change in the biochemical structure of the genes


resulting in different phenotype

Random genetic drift - Change in gene frequency because of small population size and
closed to other population

Non-random mating - Some individuals do not have the same chances of mating with
individuals of the opposite sex due to some certain physical,
physiological or psychological factors

Forms of Non-random Mating: Increased Homozygosis

Assortative - More phenotypically similar individual tend to mate more often

Disassortative - Less phenotypically similar individual tend to mate more often than would
be expected by chance

Phenotype (P) = Genotype (G) + Environment (E) + Interaction between Genotype and
Environment (G x E)

Phenotype = f {Genetics + Environment + (Genetics x Environment)}

Phenotypes - Traits; character

Phenotype - Observable manifestation (expression) of a given character (trait) of an


individual

Genotype - Specific combination of genes (genetic make – up) that are associated
with a particular characteristic (phenotype) of the individual

Environment - Totality of non-genetic factors affecting the individual. Examples are


environmental changes, nutrition, feeds and feeding, housing, etc.

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G x E Interaction - When certain genotypes perform well under certain environments than
other genotypes. A good example is: Zebu (humped) cattle grow and
reproduce better in warm tropical environment than the European
(humpless) cattle and vice versa.

MECHANICS OF INHERITANCE

Reproduction - Made possible the flow of genetic materials from one generation to the
next

Animal reproduction involves two processes:

A. Gametogenesis – production of gametes (haploid)

1. Spermatogenesis – sperm production in the testis (seminiferous tubules)


2. Oogenesis – egg or ovum production in the ovary

B. Fertilization – restores the diploid chromosome number of an animal

Mendelian Inheritance and Probability

1. Law of segregation or - During the formation of gametes, genes segregate so that


separation of gene pairs only one of the pairs is transmitted by a gamete (haploid)

2. Law of independence or - In the formation of gametes, members of one pairs of


independent assortment genes segregate independently of the other pairs

GAMETOGENESIS

Gametogenesis - Gamete formation in the males and females

Spermatogenesis - Production of sperm cells

Oogenesis - Production of egg cells or ova

Primary organs - Testis in males (seminiferous tubules)

- Ovary in females

SPERMATOGENESIS STAGES OOGENESIS


Spermatogonia (2n) Oogonia
Primary spermatocyte (2n) Primary oocyte
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Secondary spermatocyte (n) Secondary oocyte
Spermatids (n) Polar body
Spermiogenesis* (n)
Sperm cells (n) Ovum (egg cell)

Abnormalities among gametes:

Females - Cystic ovaries, atretic follicles


Causes - Hormonal imbalance, genetics, diseases, nutrition

Males - Abnormal sperm cells, decreased libido


Causes - Genetics, temperature changes, nutrition, trauma, physical injuries, diseases

REPRODUCTION

Reproduction - Involves the physical and physiological processes in both sexes leading to
the fertilization of the egg (ova) by the sperm cell and the subsequent
development of the young (progeny)

- It determines the rate of genetic improvement and even survival of any


animal population

- If more progenies are produced from each female breeder per unit of time,
the chances of producing superior genotypes would be much greater

- These superior progenies then may be selected as breeders to produce the


next generation progenies

Therefore, reproduction and rate of genetic improvement depends on:

 reproductive efficiency of the breeders


 production of superior progenies
 generation interval
 effective selection schemes

“Lower reproduction rate retards the rate of genetic improvement because it would require
longer periods to produce enough progenies as reliable basis for selection”

ANIMAL BREEDING

Animal breeding - art and science of the genetic improvement of farm animals

Genetic improvement - Purposeful manipulation of the genetic constitution of animals


which determines the expression of their inherent characters

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“Reproduction alone is not animal breeding in its true sense! BUT since the mode and rate of
reproduction of animals affect the efficiency of a breeding program, improvement of
reproduction is an important concern in animal breeding.”

Objectives of Animal breeding

 Improve the quantity of production of farm animals and of their products per unit of time
 Improve the efficiency of production of farm animals and their products
 Improve the quality of farm animals and their products
 Improve the aesthetic value of farm animals and their products

Systems of Breeding to Deliberately Improve Genetic Constitution of Animals

 Selection of genetically superior breeders


 Appropriate mating systems

PRINCIPLES OF ANIMAL BREEDING

Animal breeding - To improve/enhance performance of livestock and poultry species

Selection - Individuals are preferred to others for the production of the next
generation

- Can be natural (nature’s forces) or artificial ( man made)

- Does not create new genes; increases frequency of the desirable


genes and decreases (eliminate) frequency of bad (undesirable
genes)

Methods of Selection for More than One Quantitative Trait

 Tandem Method
 Independent Culling Method
 Selection Index

Methods of Selection for Breeders/Replacement Stocks

Selection on the basis of:

 Individuality – phenotype/performance
 Pedigree – “clean” or “dirty” ancestry; EBV or EPD
 Progeny Test – standardized testing protocols
 Collateral Relatives – accuracy depends on information for all relatives
 Specific Combining Ability – “nicking ability” due to pleiotrophy
 DNA markers – marker assisted selection (MAS)
SYSTEMS OF BREEDING

Inbreeding – mating of related individuals

Examples:

 Parents x offsprings (progenies)


 Sire (father) x daughter mating
 Son x Dam ( mother) mating

Genetic consequence is increased homozygosity of progenies as evidenced by:

 inbreeding depression (ID)


 coefficient of inbreeding (Fx)

Regular systems of Inbreeding:

 full sib mating – full borther x full sister mating


 half sib mating – half brother x half sister mating
 parent x offspring mating

Irregular System of Inbreeding

Relationships or degree of consanguinity between mates in the pedigree vary.

Uses of Inbreeding

 for the production of pure line stocks


 intermediate step in the production of hybrid stocks

Outbreeding/Crossbreeding

Mating between animals of different established breeds

Mating between groups of animals of diverse genotypes such as between varieties and lines of
animals

Genetic consequence is increased heterozygosity leading to heterosis or hybrid vigor

Crossbreeding Schemes

 Two breed cross


 Backcross or crisscross system
 Three Breed/Terminal Cross
 Four-way Cross
 Five-way cross
 Upgrading/Grading-up
Uses of Outbreeding/Crossbreeding

 Production of market animals


 Used to combine desirable traits of two or more breeds (breed complementation)
 To establish a broad genetic base (genetic diversity) for the development of other breeds

ANIMAL GENETIC IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

 Natural mating
 Artificial insemination (AI) in cattle, buffaloes, pigs, goats and sheep
 IVM-IVF-MOET/SOET (in vitro maturation-in vitro fertilization-multiple/super ovulation-
embryo transfer) in cattle, buffaloes and small ruminants
 Transgenics (rats, pigs, fish, etc.)
 Cloning (sheep, cattle, horses pet animals, humans?)

Artificial Insemination (AI)

AI - The process of inducing fertilization in the female reproductive tract without the benefit
of sexual contact between the male and female animals

- Semen is usually collected from the genetically superior male processed to extend
volume of semen and in vitro shelf life of sperm cells

Benefits derives from AI

 Increased in the number of females that could be mated by a single male


 Minimize transmission of sexually transmitted diseases
 Males that are physically unable to mate naturally may still be used for breeding
 Semen of sires that may have been long dead can still be used
 Because of the number of progenies that could be produced by a single male is increased,
accuracy of evaluating the breeding value (EBV or EPD) of a male is increased
proportionately

IVM-IVF-S/MOET

Ovaries (from
slaughter
houses)

Eggs/ Petri dish


Ova (IVM) ET ET progenies
IVF (surrogate (“Malakas at
(fertilized ova) females) Maganda”)
Sperm Extended/
cells Processe
d
Proven Sires
(for AI)
CLONING

How Dolly came to be?

Roslin Institute – Edinburgh, Scotland

Dr. Ian Wilmut – 1996

Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer and Implantation

Sheep 1 Transfer
(mammary cells) nucleus

Sheep 3
(Surrogate Female; uterine implantation)

Sheep 2 Remove
(Eggs/Ova) nucleus