I am looking for a good book that gives a nice overview of the science and technics of selective breeding. I am particularly interested in the use of population genetics to support decision in this applied field. So do you have any suggestions?

Below are some examples of question that I would hope that book answers.

  • If the artificial selection is too strong, it is very likely that some beneficial alleles will disappear. How strong do we decide artificial selection to be?

  • How do we deal with various lifetime?

  • How do we deal with species that can have only few babies so that we are obliged to limit the strength of selection to keep a stable population size?

  • How do we make sure to not reduce the immunologic genetic diversity within the population to zero but only to reduce the diversity of genes that influence the trait of interest?

  • Is it better to wait to be able to measure the quantity of milk in the sisters of a bull in order to infer about the quality of the bull or is it wiser to directly allow the bull to reproduce to speed things up?

  • How are the estimations of heritability performed?

  • How do we measure the impact of various environment of the trait of interest?

  • Which cultural traits should we allow to spread and which should we stop?

  • How can we use a correlated trait to infer more simply or more rapidly of the amplitude of the trait of interest?

  • How much outbreeding should we allow?

  • When is mutation breeding preferable?

and more globally some questions of the kind:

  • What are the different solution to artificially inseminate?

  • Can we select on the spermatozoids?

  • What financial elements should be taken into before creating a breeding plan?

  • GWA's studies in selective breeding

  • What is the relative importance of selective breeding and GMO in current economy and in our current ability to improve strains for our purposes?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ i would imagine that there are so many solutions amongst the scores of animals and plants that are bred selectively that such a single book does not exist. selective breeding is a millenia old discipline depending on the culture and the strain and a lot of these genetic terminologies are relatively recent. The differences between say a sheep and an orchid are so vast I'm not even certain that it would be worth the effort to try to cover all these topics in one volume. $\endgroup$
    – shigeta
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 23:48

1 Answer 1


I will Suggest:

Selective Breeding in Aquaculture: An Introduction

Authors: Trygve Gjedrem, Matthew Baranski

ISBN: 978-90-481-2772-6 (Print) 978-90-481-2773-3 (Online)



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