Breeding for disease resistance in livestock and fish

Stear, M.J., Nikbakht, G., Matthews, L. and Jonsson, N.N. (2012) Breeding for disease resistance in livestock and fish. CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources, 7(007), pp. 1-10. (doi:10.1079/PAVSNNR20127007)

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Abstract

Breeding for disease resistance offers improved animal welfare and increased returns for breeders. It is now practised in cattle, sheep, pig, chicken and fish farming. This review provides an overview for the non-specialist of the strategies to breed for disease resistance, with equal weighting on traditional phenotypic methods and the changes being introduced by modern genomic tests. It starts by explaining four key concepts in selective breeding: heritability, estimated breeding value (EBV), repeatability and genetic correlation. It then explains the decisions required to create selection objectives, selection criteria and selection indices. The response to selection is then considered with emphasis on the factors that constrain the response to selection: generation interval, variation in breeding values, selection intensity, effective population size and the accuracy of selection. Quantitative genetic theory can accurately predict the response to selective breeding of production traits, but is less effective at predicting the response to selection for resistance to microbial and parasitic diseases because selecting resistant animals and culling susceptible animals can alter the rate of disease transmission. Mathematical models are therefore required to predict the effect of genetic and epidemiological changes on disease incidence.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jonsson, Professor Nicholas and Stear, Professor Michael and Matthews, Professor Louise
Authors: Stear, M.J., Nikbakht, G., Matthews, L., and Jonsson, N.N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources
ISSN:1749-8848

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