Selection alters the frequency of genes in a population (breed) affecting a particular characteristic. Population genetic change is difficult for breeders to understand because they deal with individuals when making selection decisions and in their merchandising programs. Nevertheless, breeds (populations) which practice intense selection for characteristics of economic importance to the cattle industry will change genetically and eventually be the successful populations because they will leave the most progeny in the next generation. The genetic improvement of a population (breed) cannot overlook the individual because the individual, if selected, is the vehicle containing the genes which are to be passed on to the next generation. Bull selection is central to directed changes in gene frequency of any defined beef cattle population because of the low reproductive rate in beef females. Sophisticated genetic prediction techniques have been developed to help U.S. beef cattle producers make sound selection decisions.
Number of Pages
South Dakota State University
Copyright © 1991
Benyshek, Larry, "Beef Cattle National Genetic Evaluation Programs" (1991). South Dakota Beef Seedstock Symposium, 1991. 1.