Course code LauZ5160

Credit points 3

Animal Genetics and Breeding

Total Hours in Course120

Number of hours for lectures24

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes24

Independent study hours72

Date of course confirmation26.02.2019

Responsible UnitInstitute of Animal Science

Course developer

author Dzīvnieku zinātņu institūts

Daina Jonkus

Dr. agr.

Prior knowledge

LauZ5143, Biological Basis of Animal Husbandry

Course abstract

The aim of the study course is to provide knowledge of general and molecular genetics as well as genetic principles of breeding. The course includes the theoretical and practical significance of genetics in animal husbandry. Students acquire knowledge of using the principles of molecular genetics in pedigree control of farm animals and in research of domestic animal genetic resources. Students gain understanding of use of molecular markers in practical biotechnology and animal breeding.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

After completing the course master student will have:
knowledge about action of laws of genetics, its relation to regulation of gene activity, genetic variation and its effect on inheritance of productive traits and genetic diseases and disorders in farm animals, use of molecular markers in biotechnology and breeding (accomplished and presented practical works, successfully passed theoretical exam);
skills to explain the mechanisms of genetic inheritance and variation, find and analyse the information of associative gene, causative mutation of hereditary traits including diseases and disorders in animals and its significance in animal breeding. Skills to understand, interpret and present the information form scientific publications (accomplished and presented practical works, independently prepared 2 presentations, successfully passes exam),
competences to assess biotechnology and molecular genetics methods used in farm animal breeding, understand the genomic selection principles in animal breeding as well as analyse scientific literature and discuss about the topic (accomplished and presented practical works, independently prepared 2 presentations, successfully passes exam).

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Basic terms of genetics and breeding, scientific and practical importance. The development and recent achievements in genetics. 3 h L
2. Mendel’s rules of inheritance. Mono-, di- and trihybrid cross. 3 h practical works
3. Interaction of genes. Epistasis, additive polimery, pleiotropy, expressivity of genes. Inheritance of sex-linked traits. 3 h practical works
4. Molecular basis of inheritance. Gene expression and its regulation. Genetic code. Inheritable and non-inheritable variation of organisms. 3 h L
5. Mutations, its significance in diversity of trait variance, inheritable diseases and disorders of farm animals. 3 h L
6. Seminar: polymorphisms of genes determining productive traits of farm animals. 3 h
7. Recent methods and equipment for determining the sequence of nucleotides in the analysis of the structure of the genome of farm animals. 3 h L
8. DNA isolation. DNA sequencing and analysis of results. 6 h practical works
9. Farm animal pedigree control. Use of genotypic and phenotypic markers in selection. 3 h L + 3 practical works
10. Use of artificial insemination and embryo transplantation in animal breeding. 3 h L
11. Basic principles of genomic breeding, its use in selection of functional traits in farm animals. 3 h L
12. Endangered populations of farm animals in Latvia. Genetic research on economically significant traits. 3 h L + 3 h practical works
13. Seminar: Use of biotechnology methods in farm animal breeding. 3h

Requirements for awarding credit points

Lecture attendance is recommended, practical work attendance – mandatory. Accomplished and presented practical works. Active participation in seminars, preparation of two presentations, written exam.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Studies of scientific literature, preparation for seminars, preparation and public presentation of two presentations.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

The final assessment of learning outcomes consists of evaluation of two presentations (25%+25%) and the result of written exam (50%).

Compulsory reading

1. Pierce B.A. Genetics: A Conceptual Approach. 1st ed. W. H. Freeman&Company, 2003. 736 p.
2. Molecular and Quantitative Animal Genetics. H. Khatib (ed.). Wiley-Blackwell, 2015. 336 p.. ISBN 978-1-118-67740-7 [LF, Dzīvnieku zinātņu institūts, 1 eks.]
3. Arhieving sustainable production of milk. Volume 1. Milk composition, genetics and breedin. Edited by Dr. N. Van Belzen. Published bu Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Limited, 2017. 339 p. ISBN 978-1-78676-044-9.
4. Bourdon R.M. Understanding Animal Breeding. Pearson: New International Edition. USA: Pearson education limited, 2014. 513 p.

Further reading

1. Misiņa M., Loža V. Ģenētika ar selekcijas pamatiem. – Rīga: Zvaigzne, 1991. 396 lpp.
2. Molecular Biology of Gene. Watson J. D., et al. USA: Pearson Education, 2004. 732 p.
3. Griffiths A.J.F., et al. Modern Genetic analysis. New York: W.H. Freeman and Compay, 2000. 675. p. .
4. Garkāvijs F. Ģenētika. Rīga: Zvaigzne, 1983. 279 lpp.
5. Nicholas F. W. Introduction to Veterinary Genetics. UK: Oxford University Press, 1996. 317 p.
6. Weaver R. F., Hedrick P.W. Basic Genetics. USA, WCB, 1995. 498
7. Бакай A. B., Қочиш И. И., Cкрипниченко Г.Г. Генетика. Москва: Koлoc, 2006. 448 c.

Periodicals and other sources

1. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics. Wiley. Online ISSN: 1439-0388.
2. NCBI datu bāze:
3. OMIA dzīvnieku iedzimstošo pazīmju un slimību datu bāze (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals OMIA):
4. UCSC Genomu pārlūks:
5. Clustal Omega DNS/aminoskābju sekvenču salīdzināšanas programma:
6. Genetics:


Compulsory study course (part A) for Master study programme “Agriculture” with specialization “Animal Husbandry”