Selective Breeding

By: Angelika Kropiewnicka

What is it?

Inducing Desirable Traits in Specific Organisms when you can pick a trait for a specific organism to fit your desire. For instance, if you want your dog to have brown fur instead of black, then using this is how you could do that. There are lots of different methods that can be used to manipulate different traits in plants and animals. Some of those methods consist of: Simple Selection, Crossing, Embryo Rescue, Cell Selection, Microbial Vectors, Microinjection, Domestication and Artificial Selection, Assisted Reproductive Procedures, Embryo Splitting, Cloning, Accessing the Germline of Animals, etc. They are all used in different ways where you can either pick the two organisms with the desired traits that you want with the offspring and breed then or genetically change their DNA to fit your desire.

How is it being used currently?

One way it's used currently is that farmers chose cattle with beneficial traits such as larger size or producing more milk, and made them breed. This is used to produce greater amounts of food for people to eat. Another thing is selectively picking specific traits for animals to fit your desire. If you wanted a purebred pug but not a puggle then what you do is that you breed two pugs together and now their offspring are purebred pugs. We are also using this to produce bigger crops. We are making corn and beans and many others. We make tomatoes to be as small as a quarter, these are known as grape and or cherry tomatoes. By doing this, it benefits for us and what we desire to have the most.

What is the benefit of this?

The benefit for this is that be get more food by genetically engineering animals and plants. We make them larger in order to have more or we make it that there are more. For instance, the amount of meat on chickens increased from 1957 to 2005.

Is there any disadvantages? Are there any risks?

Yes there are a few disadvantages and risks. Some of them are:

  • It can lead to loss of species variety- living organisms may express the same vulnerability to certain pathogens. If it happens that a group of animals or plants with the same genetic traits are attacked by a particular pathogen, their entire population would certainly suffer.
  • It does not have control over genetic mutations-Selective breeding might be able to hasten the good traits of the evolutionary process, but it can do nothing when it comes to the bad traits. The method will not able to control the creation of genes that might be inherited by the offspring.
  • It brings about discomfort to animals-Breeders who are wanting to formulate particular animal traits might accidentally reproduce characteristics that are damaging to animal health.
  • It can create offspring with different traits-Due to the fact that this farming technique can create offspring that have different traits, the previous or permanent trait they have before undergoing the process would be completely lost.
  • It can create offspring with different traits-Due to the fact that this farming technique can create offspring that have different traits, the previous or permanent trait they have before undergoing the process would be completely lost.
  • It can change the evolution of species-As previously mentioned, selective breeding would risk changing the evolution of the species. Because humans are breeding different species for a particular trait, this can lead to a risk of losing some of the other genes from the genetic pool, which is altogether very difficult to bring back.

How does it affect organisms physically?

It affects organisms physically because some may have some bad diseases or mutations, it can cause a genetic depression, it brings discomfort to some animals, and a shorter life span. In animals for example Labradors experience hip dysplasia, great danes have heart problems.

What's its economic affect?

There are many benefits for the economy for selective breeding. It consists of: more money, food, the organism will grow faster. But, it could also lead to extinct species and higher costs even though however is selling the organism is making the money.

How does it affect the environment?

Inducing specific traits into organisms can have an effect on the environment. Selective breeding in plants gives rise to the environment being affected in terms of animals/birds being unable to feed on the required properties it's dependent on resulting in a decreased survival rate of more dependent animals/birds. It also affects how populations interact with other populations.

How does it affect the world in a social aspect?

It affects the world in a social aspect by more food production to be made and more trading will most likely occur.

How will this affect our future?

This will affect our future by having certain traits more common in the population than others. It will also make mutations or diseases also more common because we never know what we might get out of breeding the organisms.
What is Selective Breeding