Livestock genomics: bridging the gap between mice and men

Dirk-Jan de Koning, Alan Archibald, Chris S Haley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dissecting the genetic control of variation in complex traits, such as disease resistance and agricultural-product quality, remains very challenging. Farm animals are now well placed to bridge the gap between human biology and traditional model species. Livestock species share with model species the benefits of controlled breeding, and their biology is often much closer to that of humans. Genetic research in model species focuses on differences between homogenous lines, whereas genetic research in humans focuses on genetic variation within populations. Livestock genetics has the strengths of both human and model-species genetics because researchers can exploit both the abundant genetic variation between divergent breeds and the variation that is segregating within breeds. Therefore, livestock genomics fills the void where the genetics of model species proves intractable or where model species are not a good proxy for human biology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-9
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in biotechnology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genomics
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Rats


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