Realistic Expectations

DNA testing is not likely to make animal breeding simpler, as was initially expected, but it should make selection more effective. DNA tests are likely to change (improve) over time. As more data is acquired, estimates of the effects of test genotypes will improve. Furthermore, the association between test and functional polymorphisms is likely to be different between breeds, but these differences are likely to be discovered only after a large amount of data has been generated by using the tests widely for a number of years. To get started, the only practical approach is likely to be to use species-wide associations.

Cost will limit the adoption of DNA testing in livestock, although costs are projected to decrease substantially over the next few years.

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