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Transgenesis And Selective Breeding Essay

1529 words - 7 pages

Genetic Manipulation is the artificial process of altering the genetic material of organisms such as animals and plants using modern biotechnology techniques. Genetic manipulating techniques have been applied in numerous fields including research, agriculture, industrial biotechnology, and medicine (1).

Selective breeding is a traditional method for improving crops and livestock, it is the intentional breeding of organisms with desirable traits in order to produce offspring with favorable characteristics and improved traits. Farmers have used selective breeding to improve the performance of their livestock so they are economically beneficial. One example of selectively bred animals is ...view middle of the document...

As same desirable genotype for favorable traits are continually selected to bred by scientists and it is likely to remove the genes that are not purposely selected due to their insignificance, it not only has the risk of inbreeding depression, which decreases the ability for the sheep to survive and reproduce, but it also decreases the gene pool of the population as the genes are lost in the gene pool and this will significantly decrease the genetic variation of the species, variation refers to the fact that some combinations of traits will produce some slight advantage over others in competitions for survival and reproduction or environmental changes. If there is an decrease in genetic variation, then there is nothing that gives any organism in the species an advantage over any other in this competition for survival and reproduction, then it is pure randomness which ones get to reproduce more, so there will be no evolutions in species as the next generation will be almost identical as their parents. Also when the population encounter a radical environmental change, it will have potentials to be susceptible to several environmental factors or diseases and eventually die out, because there will be no organism contain favorable genes to be able to survive and reproduce in the new environment. One example of this for the easy care sheep is that they may get a disease called facial eczema when more area of sheep’s skin are exposed to the sunlight and when they have eaten the fungus, this would be a bad welfare outcome and a decreasing productivity for sheep (3).

Transgenesis is a rather modern method of gene modification, it involves the insertion of a gene from one species into a living organism, the genes may be transferred from within the same species or come from a entirely different species, transgenesis allows traits to be introduced that are not present in the species naturally. In the case of transgenic cows, scientists create transgenic cows by altering their genome and manipulate their genetic material by artificial methods for the purpose of making modified milk or produce therapeutic proteins to treat human diseases. There are a several procedures to make transgenic cows, firstly, the gene construct is created using DNA cloning, restriction enzyme digests and ligation after the desirable genes is identified and sequenced. The gene construct is then imported into female cow cells by transfection. Transgenic cow cells are selected and fused with cow oocytes that had their chromosomes completely removed. The transgenic cell’s chromosomes are then reprogrammed to immediate development into an embryo once fused with the oocyte, which can be implanted into a surrogate cow. After the gestation period, a female calf is born and will only express the transgene in her milk during lactation after her first calf is born (4). However this technique can be unreliable, this is due to DNA uptake and integration into the genome of the egg cell...

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