The use of molecular genetics in eliminating of inherited anomalies in cattle

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Genetic improvement programmes in cattle have significantly contributed to the large increase in milk and meat production. As along with these breeding schemes top ranking AI sires are widely used and in the case, if these sires are carriers of mutated alleles, inherited defects can be widely disseminated. Most of the about 350 inherited anomalies in cattle occur at very low to low frequencies and thus, carriers are usually not detected in progeny tests based on reporting calves with congenital malformations. The molecular genetic decipherment of inherited anomalies is the necessary prerequisite for an efficient prevention of the dissemination of undesired alleles. The paper gives a survey on inherited anomalies being already characterized in cattle with molecular genetic methods. Furthermore, two genetic anomalies, namely congenital X-linked ectodermal dysplasia with hypotrichosis and missing teeth and bilateral convergent strabismus with exophthalmus are described in more detail.




Distl, O. (2005). The use of molecular genetics in eliminating of inherited anomalies in cattle. Archives Animal Breeding, 48(3), 209–218.

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