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Sent: 19 June 2005 12:03
Subject: 60: Re: Molecular characterisation of animal genetic resources
I am Salah Galal, Professor of Animal Breeding, Ain Shams University, Egypt and ex FAO Staff on Animal Genetic Resources, Rome.
I am in agreement with Ilse Kohler-Rollefson (Message 31, June 9) in asking "should genetic uniqueness really be the key criterion for deciding which breeds we should save?". The answer in my opinion is not necessarily "yes" but it is quite useful to know that if the population you are working with is not too varied from another, then genetic progress made in one population could be safely transferred to the other without running the risk of crossing and 'diluting' the recipient population. Using molecular techniques in population distancing is quite useful and effort-saving in situations where some seemingly similar 'breeds' are scattered in the same region. Examples are the Awassi sheep breed/populations of the East Mediterranean, Barbary/Barki in North Africa and even some common breeds alleged to belong to the same root between Egypt and Turkey. If we can verify that these 'breeds' are more or less similar, joint efforts can be made to improve them jointly. The problem with breed molecular identification, in my opinion, lies in the fact that availing primers and other material and equipment needed to characterize the breeds with any degree of accuracy is a task that is too expensive for the majority of local institutions in charge of such task. Some regional coordination, possibly with international input, is required to carry out such work.
Salah Galal, Ph.D.
Professor, Animal Production Department
Faculty of Agriculture
Ain Shams University
Hadaeq Shubra 11241
sgalal (at) tedata.net.eg
Tel: +202 444 1711
Fax: +202 444 4460
Sent: 19 June 2005 12:08
Subject: 61: Re: Molecular characterisation of animal genetic resources
I am W. Akin. Hassan from the Department of Animal Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria.
I have been following with keen interest the on-going debate on the application of molecular genetics to livestock development in developing countries.
First and foremost, it is important to underline the fact that, in those countries, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa, we can hardly talk of livestock producers, except a few rich individuals in cities who pick interest in livestock production mainly for prestige. The vast majority of the livestock diversities are kept by smallholders in the remote areas. These keepers have for ages been involved in low input-low output husbandry systems, paying very little or no attention to cost.
Then comes the issue of the appropriateness of animal biotechnologies under the prevailing husbandry systems. No doubt, molecular genetics has great roles to play in revolutionizing livestock production in the developing countries, but the stage is not yet set for such - for numerous reasons, including the following:- most of the few animal geneticists in those countries lack practical knowledge about molecular genetics;
It will be worthwhile to continue the on-going phenotypic characterization of the ecotypes of various livestock and poultry species in those countries while efforts are made towards addressing the problems that presently militate against the applications of animal biotechnologies, including molecular genetics, to livestock production in the area.
W. Akin. Hassan, Ph.D.
Department of Animal Science,
Usmanu Danfodiyo University,
akinola19 (at) yahoo.com