A Global Strategy of Using Molecular Genetic Information to Improve Genetics in Livestock


Author’s address (for correspondence): ET Margawati, Research Center for Biotechnology, The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Jl. Raya Bogor km 46. Cibinong 16911, West Java, Indonesia. E-mail: endangtri@hotmail.com.


Traditional breeding programmes have largely contributed to disseminate the benefits of several quantitative traits in livestock. In developing countries such as Indonesia where animal population scattered throughout the country, it is difficult to invest for molecular research. On the other side, yet, it is worthy asset for breeding purposes. Based on theory and evidence, it has been proved that those scattered population evolved different genetic adaptations in response to a given natural pressure selection. A global strategy can be applied to the use of molecular genetic information for identification of economically important value. The use of genetic markers or more effective of marker-assisted selection (MAS) for desired important traits would be more valuable and useful and even more efficient in important trait selection of superior livestock. DNA marker technology would be very useful when applied for quantitative trait identification. Marker-assisted selection can be used for enhancing conventional breeding and works best for the traits with low heritability such as in reproductive traits and disease resistance. Application of conventional breeding for lower heredity traits would not be efficient because of waiting longer for generation interval, expensive in measurements, more population and more employees needed. Study of quantitative trait loci mapping is early investment to improve genetic merit. It can be performed once but can be used for exploring many genetic traits with economically important values. An effective option is biotechnology application in livestock for the development of genetic varieties such as stress tolerance, growth and carcass traits. Application of biotechnology approaches will enable improvement in productivity, reduction in costs, enrichment of milk compositions and extension of shelf life products.