Whole-Genome Selection in Livestock

  • Birbal SinghEmail author
  • Gorakh Mal
  • Sanjeev K. Gautam
  • Manishi Mukesh


Selective breeding is a traditional method of improving livestock, but molecular genetic revolution in the last decade of the twentieth century has initiated the modern era of genomics. Molecular genetics has influenced the breeding strategies in a big way by providing genetic maps, individual genes, and quantitative trait loci (QTL) related to performance traits in livestock species. QTL detection in animals led the shift from conventional selective breeding to marker-assisted selection (MAS) and SNPs related to performance traits. Advancements in genomics have motivated animal breeder to formulate high-density SNP chips comprising of lakhs of SNPs covering the whole genome of a species. Selection on the basis of whole-genome markers could make selection of genetically superior animals at very early age and at the same time with the accuracy of 0.8 in predicting their breeding value. The SNP chip analysis has been very popular in livestock in predicting breeding potential at early age, but some traits, i.e., traits involving nonadditive effects and epigenetic effects, are still out of the reach of genomic selection.


  • Continuously increasing demand for livestock-based products puts pressure to increase livestock productivity

  • Livestock can be better characterized by genomics approaches and selected for production.


Quantitative trait loci Marker-assisted selection Marker-assisted tests SNP selection 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Birbal Singh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gorakh Mal
    • 1
  • Sanjeev K. Gautam
    • 2
  • Manishi Mukesh
    • 3
  1. 1.ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Regional StationPalampurIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyKurukshetra UniversityKurukshetraIndia
  3. 3.Department of Animal BiotechnologyICAR-National Bureau of Animal Genetic ResourcesKarnalIndia

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