Long term selection experiments have served as a major tool in our attempts to understanding the nature of genetic variation for quantitative traits. For the animal breeder who is interested in the extent to which a given economic trait can be improved by selection, a knowledge of the heritability of the trait is important for immediate predictability but is of limited use in predicting what the ultimate limits of response will be. With the exception of the long term selection experiments for chemical composition in corn (Leng, 1962) most of our knowledge concerning the underlying genetic mechanisms that will determine long term response to selection has come through experiments with laboratory organism. I will briefly review the results of a few of the major experiments that have made contributions over the last twenty years and then wifi summarize one of my own experiments with Tribolium that now has a history of over 85 generations of selection. I will concentrate on the experiments that have been aimed at selection to a plateau followed by a genetic analysis of the plateaued population.

F. D Enfield

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 1, Madrid, Spain, 365–371, 1974
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