GENE 251/ GENE351

Applied Animal and Plant Breeding

Project 2007

15% of your final mark (5% group presentation, 10% individual summary)

Individual summaries are due 4 November

You can look for materials on the web with Google

Below you find some key papers (some can be downloaded from here,

those without link can be obtained through the unit coordinator)


Project topics:

Project topics are based on technical and socio-economical issues in relation to animal and plant breeding,

and are listed below.  Students will be required to nominate their 1st and 2nd preferences during week 1

the allocated topic will be confirmed during week 2. 


Project reports:

Students are required to independently research the project and submit a brief report 250 words for GENE251

and 750 words for GENE351.  The reports should summarise key issues relating to the topic and be written

in a clear and concise style.  The emphasis is on writing a short, but clear and informative, report. The report

should be referenced: around 3 to 5 references is appropriate.  Note that the reference list is not included in the

word count.  Reports must be typed.


Group presentations:

Groups of 4-5 students (with the same project topic) will give brief presentations to the class.  This will involve

summarising the main findings onto a scientific poster, and then presenting and discussing the poster. 

Time will be allowed at the start of the practical session for the group to discuss the topic and prepare the poster.

Presentations should be about 10 minutes, with an additional 5 minutes for questions.


List of topics:

1.      Discuss technical, socio-economic and ethical issues around the use of cloning in animal production

2.      Discuss technical, socio-economic and ethical issues around the use of semen and embryo sexing in animal production

3.      Discuss the prospects of DNA testing in animal breeding and production

4.      Discuss the possible use of reproductive technologies in animal breeding and production

5.      Discuss the long term prospects / problems of GM crops

6.      Discuss the conservation of genetic diversity of livestock


1    Cloning                       

De Boer, IJM, Brom, FW,  Vorstenbosch, JMG 1995. Animal Science 1995: 61: 453 463.

An ethical evaluation of animal biotechnology: the case of using clones in dairy cattle breeding.   



                    Cloning fact sheet (Human Genome Project)


2    Semen and Embryo Sexing


                Implications of sexing for the beef industry   pdf file



                Implications of sexing for dairy       pdf file





3    DNA testing


            Bulfield, 1998: Will breeding become a biotechnology?

            Hetzel, J. 1997. Common threads in livestock breeding. Rural research winter 1997: p 175.

            California simple extension paper


            Genes for parasite resistance: UNE Golden ram project


                Dekkers, J.C.M. 2004. Marker- and gene-assisted selection in Livestock.

                Paper presented at the Poultry Breeders Round Table, USA.




4    Reproductive Technologies


           Van Arendonk, J.A.M. and P. Bijma. 2003. Factors affecting commercial application of embryo

            technologies in dairy cattle in Europe: a modeling approach. Theriogenology  59_ 635-649  pdf file


5    GMO crops/food


            Some facts about genetically modified (GM) plants, by Acram Taji


            Gene transfer: mechanism and food safety risks. FAO/WHO paper