The Role of Biotechnology in Improvement of Livestock: Animal Health and Biotechnology

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Bavita Balyan. Show More. No Downloads. Views Total views. Actions Shares. Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. Biotechnology in livestock improvement 1. Definition the science of altering genetic and reproductive processes in plants and animals 3. Increase Accuracy Of Selection.

Reduce Generation Interval. Increase Selection Intensity. In 2 ways , the methods of biotechnology performed for Genetic improvement of livestock. Without manipulation of gene 6. By allowing for the widespread use of small numbers of elite sires, AI has had a dramatic impact on selection intensity. In addition, AI has allowed for the implementation of the progeny-testing scheme prevalent particularly in dairy cattle production, and which has had a major impact on the improvement of the herd by increasing the accuracy of selection despite the associated increase in generation interval.

Multiple ovulation and embryo transfer MOET : By increasing the number of offspring that can be obtained from monotocous species in particular, MOET has the potential to increase genetic improvement by enhancing the selection intensity on the female side. Despite associated technical hurdles, MOET has the potential to play an important role in developing countries where the implementation of a large-scale AI based progeny-testing scheme would be difficult to implement 9.

The impact of these methodologies on genetic response operates through the same channels as MOET, i. This opened the prospective to affect genetic response in a variety of ways including selection intensity, selection accuracy and generation interval. Initially, the source of totipotent nuclei were blastomeres. Despite the potential use of first as well as higher order generation blastocysts as nuclei donors, the size of the clones has remained very small.

While the numbers of cells recovered are incompatible with conventional AI practices, they are sufficient when combined with IVF techniques. This might become the method of choice to generate embryos of a desired sex. Embryo sexing can also be achieved by micro biopsy and sex determination using polymerase chain reaction PCR amplified Y-specific sequences. This approach, however, is economically only justified in very exceptional circumstances.

The Role of Biotechnology in Improvement of Livestock

Gamete and embryo cryopreservation: Most methods described are only effective when used in conjunction with gamete and embryo freezing methods. In addition cryopreservation plays a crucial role in conservation programmes aimed at maintaining genetic diversity. Livestock genomics and marker assisted selection MAS Advances in molecular genetics, boosted by the 'Human Genome Initiative', now allow for the development of unlimited numbers of genetic markers, the fundamental tool of the geneticist.

These markers can be used to locate genes underlying phenotypic traits on the corresponding genome maps using linkage strategies. This mapping is the first step in the process referred to as positional cloning which culminates in the isolation of the causal gene and mutation Understanding the molecular biology of production traits is of importance in several respects. MAS is expected to increase genetic response by affecting all four relevant factors. Mapping genes explaining breed differences for economically important traits will allow their introgression in other populations by marker aided backcrossing, therefore increasing the genetic variation usable as substrate for selection programmes.

Genetic Engineering is based on a technology involving recombinant DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid involves taking a tiny bit of DNA containing the desired gene from one organism and splicing it into the DNA strand of another organism Previously, the only source of BST for research has been from pituitary glands of dead cows. The process of transplanting cells, tissues or organs from one species to another is referred to as xenotransplantation. Currently, the pig is the major animal being considered as a viable organ donor to humans.

Unfortunately, pig cells and human cells are not immunologically compatible. Pigs, like almost all mammals, have markers on their cells that enable the human immune system to recognize them as foreign and reject them. Genetic engineering is used to knock out the pig gene responsible for the protein that forms the marker to the pig cells.

Animal biotechnology has many potential uses. Since the early s, transgenic animals have been created with increased growth rates, enhanced lean muscle mass, enhanced resistance to disease or improved use of dietary phosphorous to lessen the environmental impacts of animal manure. Transgenic poultry, swine, goats and cattle that generate large quantities of human proteins in eggs, milk, blood or urine also have been produced, with the goal of using these products as human pharmaceuticals. Human pharmaceutical proteins include enzymes, clotting factors, albumin and antibodies.

The major factor limiting the widespread use of transgenic animals in agricultural production systems is their relatively inefficient production rate a success rate of less than 10 percent. A specific example of these particular applications of animal biotechnology is the transfer of the growth hormone gene of rainbow trout directly into carp eggs.

The resulting transgenic carp produce both carp and rainbow trout growth hormones and grow to be one-third larger than normal carp. Another example is the use of transgenic animals to clone large quantities of the gene responsible for a cattle growth hormone. The hormone is extracted from the bacterium, is purified and is injected into dairy cows, increasing their milk production by 10 to 15 percent. That growth hormone is called bovine somatotropin or BST. Another major application of animal biotechnology is the use of animal organs in humans.

Pigs currently are used to supply heart valves for insertion into humans, but they also are being considered as a potential solution to the severe shortage in human organs available for transplant procedures. While predicting the future is inherently risky, some things can be said with certainty about the future of animal biotechnology. The government agencies involved in the regulation of animal biotechnology, mainly the Food and Drug Administration FDA , likely will rule on pending policies and establish processes for the commercial uses of products created through the technology.

In January , the U. Food and Drug Administration FDA approved the sale of cloned animals and their offspring for food, despite fierce opposition from animal welfare and consumer advocacy groups, environmental organizations, some members of Congress, and many consumers. It also is expected that technologies will continue to be developed in the field, with much hope for advances in the use of animal organs in human transplant operations.

The potential benefits of animal biotechnology are numerous and include enhanced nutritional content of food for human consumption; a more abundant, cheaper and varied food supply; agricultural land-use savings; a decrease in the number of animals needed for the food supply; improved health of animals and humans; development of new, low-cost disease treatments for humans; and increased understanding of human disease.

Yet despite these potential benefits, several areas of concern exist around the use of biotechnology in animals. To date, a majority of the American public is uncomfortable with genetic modifications to animals.


According to a survey conducted by the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, 58 percent of those polled said they opposed scientific research on the genetic engineering of animals. And in a Gallup poll conducted in May , 64 percent of Americans polled said they thought it was morally wrong to clone animals.

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Concerns surrounding the use of animal biotechnology include the unknown potential health effects to humans from food products created by transgenic or cloned animals, the potential effects on the environment and the effects on animal welfare. Before animal biotechnology will be used widely by animal agriculture production systems, additional research will be needed to determine if the benefits of animal biotechnology outweigh these potential risks. Specifically, the report listed three specific food concerns: allergens, bioactivity and the toxicity of unintended expression products.

The potential for new allergens to be expressed in the process of creating foods from genetically modified animals is a real and valid concern, because the process introduces new proteins. While food allergens are not a new issue, the difficulty comes in how to anticipate these adequately, because they only can be detected once a person is exposed and experiences a reaction.

Human Biotech & Animal Health, Boston 2018

The drugs also have to be effective, meaning that they work as intended. The labeling for each product provides all instructions for safe and effective use and is approved by FDA. For each approved product, the FDA also makes available to the public via its website a Freedom of Information Summary that summarizes the information that FDA used to determine that the drug is safe for the treated animals, the animal products edible tissues such as meat are safe for humans to eat, and that the product is effective.

Finally, concern exists about the toxicity of unintended expression products in the animal biotechnology process. While the risk is considered low, there is no data available. The NAS report stated it still needs be proven that the nutritional profile does not change in these foods and that no unintended and potentially harmful expression products appear. Another major concern surrounding the use of animal biotechnology is the potential for negative impact to the environment.

Dairy, Veterinary & Animal Research

These potential harms include the alteration of the ecologic balance regarding feed sources and predators, the introduction of transgenic animals that alter the health of existing animal populations and the disruption of reproduction patterns and their success. To assess the risk of these environmental harms, many more questions must be answered, such as: What is the possibility the altered animal will enter the environment?

Will the animal become established in the environment? Because of the many uncertainties involved, it is challenging to make an assessment.

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To illustrate a potential environmental harm, consider that if transgenic salmon with genes engineered to accelerate growth were released into the natural environment, they could compete more successfully for food and mates than wild salmon. Thus, there also is concern that genetically engineered organisms will escape and reproduce in the natural environment. It is feared existing species could be eliminated, thus upsetting the natural balance of organisms. The regulation of animal biotechnology currently is performed under existing government agencies.

To date, no new regulations or laws have been enacted to deal with animal biotechnology and related issues. The main governing body for animal biotechnology and their products is the FDA. Many people question the use of an agency that was designed specifically for drugs to regulate live animals.

When animals are genetically engineered for biomedical research purposes as pigs are, for example, in organ transplantation studies , their care and use is carefully regulated by the Department of Agriculture. In addition, if federal funds are used to support the research, the work further is regulated by the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Whether products generated from genetically engineered animals should be labeled is yet another controversy surrounding animal biotechnology.

If a product of animal biotechnology has been proven scientifically by the FDA to be safe for human consumption and the environment and not materially different from similar products produced via conventional means, these individuals say it is unfair and without scientific rationale to single out that product for labeling solely because of the process by which it was made.

They say consumers need full information about products in the marketplace — including the processes used to make those products — not for food safety or scientific reasons, but so they can make choices in line with their personal ethics.


Consequently, nearly all researchers involved in animal biotechnology are protecting their investments and intellectual property through the patent system. In , the first patent was issued on a transgenic animal, a strain of laboratory mice whose cells were engineered to contain a cancer-predisposing gene. Some people, however, are opposed ethically to the patenting of life forms, because it makes organisms the property of companies. Other people are concerned about its impact on small farmers.

The Role of Biotechnology in Improvement of Livestock: Animal Health and - Google книги

Those opposed to using the patent system for animal biotechnology have suggested using breed registries to protect intellectual property. Ethical and social considerations surrounding animal biotechnology are of significant importance. Animal biotechnology clearly has its skeptics as well as its outright opponents.

Strict opponents think there is something fundamentally immoral about the processes of transgenics and cloning. Its processes, they say, go against nature and, in some cases, cross natural species boundaries. Still others question the need to genetically engineer animals. Some wonder if it is done so companies can increase profits and agricultural production.

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  5. They believe a compelling need should exist for the genetic modification of animals and that we should not use animals only for our own wants and needs.