GENE 251/ GENE351
Applied Animal and Plant Breeding
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 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.
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.
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
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