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Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 2009 Mar;32(2):123-37. doi: 10.1016/j.cimid.2007.11.012. Epub 2008 Feb 19.

Enhancing livestock through genetic engineering--recent advances and future prospects.

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Reproductive Technologies, AgResearch, Ruakura Research Centre, Private Bag 3123, Hamilton, New Zealand.


Transgenic technology allows for the stable introduction of exogenous genetic information into livestock genomes. With its ability to enhance existing or introduce entirely novel characteristics at unprecedented magnitude and speed this emerging technology is expected to have a profound impact on the genetic improvement of livestock in the future. The continual advances in animal genomics towards the identification of genes that influence livestock production traits and impact on human health will increase its ability and versatility for the purposeful modification of livestock animals to enhance their welfare, produce superior quality food and biomedical products and reduce the environmental impact of farming. In contrast to biomedicine, which has so far been the main driver for this technology platform, the potential opportunities for animal agriculture are more challenging because of the greater demands on cost, efficiency, consumer acceptance and relative value of the product. While various transgenic concepts for the genetic improvement of livestock animals for agriculture are being evaluated the integration of this technology into practical farming systems remains some distance in the future.

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