Artificial Selection

Topics: Cattle, Myostatin, Belgian Blue Pages: 3 (968 words) Published: April 28, 2012
When comparing a Siberian husky to a Rottweiler there is a vast number of differences in their appearances; ears, color of coat and tails just to name a few. However, these dogs originate from the same species, but through artificial selection have become very different. Canines are one of the most common species that has been genetically altered to achieve a desirable appearance more pleasing to humans. Artificial selection is the process of selective breeding of closely related species (plant or animal) to achieve a more desirable trait in their offspring. Many different species have been altered through selective breeding. Selective breeding is a very common practice in the livestock breeding and has impacted the livestock industry greatly by using information obtain from research of the myostatin protein. History of selective breeding of cattle

In the 1800s the demand for a better quality as well as quantity of beef was high. Cattle breeders begin to breed select breeds of cattle that appeared larger together in hopes of producing offspring with a larger quantity of meat. The selective breeding began with the Durham Shorthorns and Friesian cattle. (Lee, 2004) The result of the selective breeding produced 3 different strands of cattle breeds the Belgian Blue, Piedmontes and Parthenias. These breeds of cattle all have one similarity, that has proved to be very valuable, the inactive Myostatin protein. Due to the inactive Myostatin protein these cattle produce roughly 20 % more meat than other cattle. The Belgian Blue cattle are a common breed of cattle in the beef and livestock industry representing the double muscle trait caused by the inactive Myostatin protein.

In 1997 a research team from John Hopkins School of Medicine led by geneticists Dr. Se-Jin Lee and Alexandra McPherron released information from their research on how proteins regulate the growth of tissue in mice. Through their research the team unintentionally...
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