Conclusion

Future selection programs will be improved versions of the traditional selection methods. Knowledge about individual genes, their location, the proteins they produce, and the metabolic pathways that they control will be incorporated into genetic evaluation models and will be used to shorten generation intervals such that genetic response is increased. More traits will be included in the breeding objectives so that unwanted correlated responses can be avoided. The pedigree and data files that have been created over the decades will become more valuable in discovering major quantitative trait loci (QTL). Application of DNA tests to embryos could perhaps more accurately identify superior animals and at the same time greatly shorten the generation interval. Care should be taken to completely understand the functions of individual genes because these might influence other genes in an antagonistic manner, thereby nullifying any benefits of selection using that gene. Breeders of animals will continue to select the best animals, mate the best to the best, and strive to improve livestock to near genetic perfection.

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