Recent developments in molecular biology and biotechnology have provided a wealth of mechanistic data about the control of animal growth, body composition and appetite at the phenotypic level. Classical quantitative genetic methods must be combined with molecular genetics and endocrinology to gain a complete understanding of the amount and kind of genetic variation regulating growth. Identifying candidate genes that control growth, body composition and appetite will permit evaluation of the genetic contributions of the alleles at each locus to phenotypic variation. Estimating genetic variation in endocrine traits and their genetic covariation with growth, body composition and appetite will determine how useful these traits will be as aids to selection for lean tissue growth and feed efficiency.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XVI. Poultry, fish and horse genetics and breeding, growth and reproduction, immune response and disease resistance., , 231–234, 1990
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