Introduction to Veterinary Genetics / Edition 3

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The concepts of veterinary genetics are crucial to understanding and controlling many diseases and disorders in animals.  They are also crucial to enhancing animal production. Accessible and clearly presented, Introduction to Veterinary Genetics provides a succinct introduction to the aspects of genetics relevant to animal diseases and production. Now in its third edition, this is the only introductory level textbook on genetics that has been written specifically for veterinary and animal science students.

Coverage includes: basic genetics, molecular biology, genomics, cytogenetics, immunogenetics, population genetics, quantitative genetics, biotechnology, and the use of molecular tools in the control of inherited disorders. 

This book describes in detail how genetics is being applied to artificial selection in animal production.   It also covers the conservation of genetic diversity in both domesticated and wild animals.

New for the Third Edition:

  • End-of-chapter summaries provide quick recaps.
  • Covers new topics: epigenetics, genomics and bioinformatics.
  • Thoroughly revised according to recent advances in genetics.

Introduction to Veterinary Genetics is still the only introductory genetics textbook for students of veterinary and animal science and will continue to be an indispensable reference tool for veterinary students and practitioners alike.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405168328
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/9/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 929,587
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Nicholas is Emeritus Professor of Animal Genetics in the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney.  He has edited and co-authored several books about genetics and one about Charles Darwin, and he created and maintains Online Mendelian Inheritance of Animals (OMIA;, a comparative knowledge-base of genetic disorders and other familial traits in non-laboratory animals.  

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Table of Contents


1 Basic genetics


Meiosis and mitosis

The biochemistry of inheritance

What is a gene?

Gene regulation


Genes, alleles, and loci

Simple or Mendelian inheritance



Types of DNA

Further reading

Appendix 1.1 Banded karyotypes of domestic species

2 Molecular biology

Restriction enzymes

Recombinant DNA and DNA cloning

Complementary DNA

DNA sequencing

Polymerase chain reaction

Southern analysis and related technologies

DNA expression microarrays

The detection of variation in base sequence

Veterinary diagnosis

Variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR), DNA fingerprints, and microsatellites

Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)

Copy number variation (CNV)

Gene mapping

Whole-genome sequence assembly

Production of polypeptide from cloned DNA


Antisense technology

RNA interference

Further reading

3 Single-gene disorders

Inborn errors of metabolism

Sex-limited inheritance

Genetic heterogeneity of disease

Type of gene action and type of disease


A sample of single-gene disorders

A revolution in mapping and identifying the causal mutation of single-gene disorders

Further reading

Appendix 3.1 A sample of single-gene traits that have been characterized at the molecular level

4 Chromosomal aberrations

Abnormal chromosome number

Abnormal chromosome structure

Chromosomal aberrations in cancer

Evolution of karyotypes

Interspecific hybridization


Biological basis of sex

Classification of intersex 116

A sample of chromosomal aberrations

Further reading

Appendix 4.1 A sample of chromosomal aberrations in animals

5 Single genes in populations

Gene and genotype frequencies

Random mating

The Hardy–Weinberg law

Extensions to the Hardy–Weinberg law

Selection and mutation

Genetic drift and the founder effect

Extending population genetics to more than one locus

Further reading

6 Familial disorders not due to a single gene

Liability and threshold

The multifactorial model

More than one threshold

Some final points

Further reading

7 Is it inherited?

General evidence for a genetic aetiology

The four types of simple, Mendelian inheritance

Studying and analysing the data

Further reading

8 Immunogenetics


Red-cell antigens

The major histocompatibility complex (MHC)

Further reading

9 Pharmacogenetics

Genetic polymorphisms affecting drug metabolism

Genetics and anaesthesia

Warfarin resistance

Multifactorial pharmacogenetics

Further reading

10 Hosts, parasites, and pathogens

Host–pathogen interactions

Resistance in hosts

Resistance in parasites and pathogens

Control of parasites and pathogens

Increasing the level of resistance in hosts

Further reading

11 Single genes in animal breeding

Coat colour

Examples of coat-colour genes

Carpet wool

Prolificacy in sheep


Muscular hypertrophy in cattle and sheep

Dwarf poultry

Genes for sexing chickens

Pedigree checking

Further reading

12 Relationship and inbreeding

The inbreeding coefficient


The inbreeding coefficient revisited

A general expression for relationship and inbreeding

The base population

Inbreeding in populations

Inbreeding depression

Further reading

13 Quantitative variation

Quantitative traits

The performance of an individual animal

The differences between animals


Correlations between traits

Quantitative trait loci (QTL)

Further reading

14 Selection between populations

Comparison between populations

Genotype–environment interaction

Further reading

15 Selection within populations

Estimated breeding values and accuracy of selection

Clues to a candidate’s breeding value for a trait

Combining clues from more than one source

Best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP)

Correlated traits

Selection for more than one trait

The importance of inbreeding and genetic drift

Sire-reference schemes

Marker-assisted selection (MAS) and genome-wide selection (GWS)

Further reading

16 Breed structure

The traditional pyramid

Closed-nucleus breeding schemes

Open-nucleus breeding schemes

Further reading

17 Crossing

Regular crossing

Crossing to produce a synthetic


Further reading

18 Selection and regular crossing


Selection and regular crossing

Further reading

19 Biotechnology and the future

Artificial insemination (AI)

Multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET)

In vitro maturation (IVM) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) of ova

Control of sex ratio

Recombinant proteins


Animal cloning

Further reading

20 Conservation genetics

Measurement of genetic diversity within populations

Measurement of genetic diversity among populations

Importance of genetic diversity

Loss of genetic diversity

Conservation of genetic diversity

Further reading

21 Genetic and environmental control of inherited disorders

Environmental control of inherited disorders

Genetic control of single-gene disorders

Gene therapy

Genetic control of multifactorial disorders

Genetic control – some final points

Crossing: thinking outside the square

Further reading



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