, Volume 47, Issue 9, pp 913-922

The genetic engineering of production traits in domestic animals

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The transfer of recombinant DNA by microinjection of embryo pronuclei provides a novel approach to the manipulation of production traits in domestic animals. In this review, several of the key areas currently under investigation are examined and their progress evaluated. These include the manipulation of the endocrine system by altered growth hormone genes and the modification of animal biochemistry by the introduction of the cysteine biosynthetic pathway and the glyoxylate cycle. The possibilities inherent in the alteration of structural proteins important to domestic animal productivity, and some ethical issues relevant to the release of modified animals are also considered. The experimental information obtained so far in the area indicates that transcriptional regulation of the genes and a thorough understanding of the physiological processes involved are both important factors in the practical application of the technique to the improvement of animal productivity.