Navigation Links
Scientists find method to pick noncompetitive animals, improve production

A new statistical method of determining genetic traits that influence social interactions among animals may provide for more productive livestock.

Scientists from Purdue University, the Netherlands and England designed mathematical equations based on traits to choose animals that are more congenial in groups, said William Muir, a Purdue Department of Animal Sciences geneticist. The new method is a tool that may contribute both to animal well-being and to securing the world's future food supply, including possibly permitting more animals to be domesticated, Muir said.

The tool makes it possible to design selective breeding programs to effectively reduce competitive interactions in livestock, he said. The method also aids in predicting how social interactions impact the natural evolution of species.

Muir and his colleagues write about the tool and its effectiveness in two papers published in the current issue of the journal Genetics. The journal's cover highlights the work with a photograph that Muir took of various colorful fish species interacting in a simulated ecosystem at the Monterey, Calif., aquarium.

"There is an inherited part of the associations among animals that has profound effects on performance," Muir said. "It's called competition. Animals compete for food, space, territory and mates."

In the first of the two papers, Muir and his colleagues explain the tool they developed to determine inherited traits that contribute to interactions among both individual animals and groups. The second paper refines the methodology and validates it by applying the tool to a flock of chickens.

In previous research, Muir showed that choosing less aggressive animals from a group for breeding purposes increases productivity. In the latest research, the scientists show that aggressiveness and all other traits affecting social interactions are inherited and can be estimated. They also found that by using the new tool t hey were able to confirm two-thirds more inherited trait variations that impact social interactions than could be identified with classical selection analysis.

"Now we have a tool to explain how species in nature evolved in response to each other," Muir said. "It can be applied across species and can tell us how social interactions developed in the past and will develop in the future between individuals and among various animal species.

"This is important because the most stable ecosystems are those that have multiple species that cohabitate. Natural selection is nature's way of keeping the ecosystem in balance."

Muir previously proved that animals living in groups and bred to be more passive sustain fewer injuries and are more productive than animals bred naturally. For instance, chickens bred to be less aggressive don't engage in as much pecking, which often causes severe injury and even death. The energy that animals used for negative behavior or to avoid such activities is then transferred to production.

"This selection methodology is a roadmap to improving the breeding of domesticated animals," Muir said. "The tool also could allow us to domesticate more species as readily available food sources, such as cannibalistic shellfish and game fish."


'"/>

Source:Purdue University


Related biology news :

1. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
2. Scientists Replicate Hepatitis C Virus in Laboratory
3. Scientists detect probable genetic cause of some Parkinsons disease cases
4. Scientists find missing enzyme for tuberculosis iron scavenging pathway
5. Scientists seek answers on what activates deadly anthrax spores
6. Yale Scientists Find MicroRNA Regulates Ras Cancer Gene
7. Scientists collaborate to assess health of global environment
8. Scientists decipher genome of fungus that can cause life-threatening infections
9. Scientists discover the cellular roots of graying hair
10. Scientists rid stem cell culture of key animal cells
11. Scientists develop new color-coded test for protein folding
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/16/2016)... --  EyeLock LLC , a market leader of iris-based ... IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, Texas ... embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris authentication ... with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most proven ... platform uses video technology to deliver a fast and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Infosys ... (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a global ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, fast ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling and ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... UAE, April 20, 2016 The ... as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all ... fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration authorization ... access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the access ... into the building installations offer considerable freedom of design ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of ... from cancer patients.  The funding will be used ... with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a ... be employed to support the design of a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the ... such as the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that ... the height of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. ... microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: