In Vitro Mating Systems

Novel mating systems become possible with in vitro fertilization (IVF). This happens naturally in some

Males

Males

Response

Fig. 1 Distributions of perceived genetic merit (or estimated breeding value, EBV) in male and female parents and their progeny. Selected parents are shaded. We allocate many females to each male, so that we can select fewer, more elite males. We can capitalize on this by gathering more information on males, giving more power to identify the best and worst males, as reflected in their wider genetic distribution.

Response

Fig. 1 Distributions of perceived genetic merit (or estimated breeding value, EBV) in male and female parents and their progeny. Selected parents are shaded. We allocate many females to each male, so that we can select fewer, more elite males. We can capitalize on this by gathering more information on males, giving more power to identify the best and worst males, as reflected in their wider genetic distribution.

animals, notably fish. We have the opportunity to mate each female with many males, as well as vice versa. One benefit is a richer pedigree structure, with maternal half-sib families as well as paternal half-sib families, increasing the accuracy of genetic evaluation. With use of surrogate mothers in mammals, we can also help avoid the confounding effects of maternal environment. These higher accuracies help to reduce the compromises in using juvenile mating systems.

However, the key promise for juvenile mating systems is the advent of marker-assisted selection (MAS). If we can get reasonable genetic evaluations from DNA tests, then we can contemplate very juvenile systems, even to the extent of developing cycles of in vitro sexual propagation, including meiosis and zygote formation, with selection among zygotes on genetic markers. Selection among gametes on marker information would be even more powerful, together with appropriate in vitro mating systems, especially if we target the generation of specific genotypes across many loci.

Such developments are currently well out of sight. However, we will soon need mating systems to target the generation of specific genotypes across many loci in normal MAS schemes. This becomes more evident as we discover that interaction between genes is important. These mating systems will need to handle nonadditive effects; thus they relate to mating systems that exploit heterosis.

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100 Pregnancy Tips

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