Artificial Selection Has Been Used By Humans To Do What?


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Rebecca Hunt answered
Artificial selection is used by humans within the areas of experimental biology with the intention of breeding certain traits or combination of traits. The process of artificial selection can be used for a variety of experimental biology ranging from plants to animals to humans.

Most commonly, artificial selection is used for animal breeding, genetic engineering, plant breeding and selective breeding. Each of these sub disciplines of experimental biology require the artificial breeding of certain traits.

  • Animal breeding
Animal breeding is most commonly used within the production of livestock. Animals are artificially selected due to superior EBV traits in growth rate, eggs, milk, meat or wool production, to name but a few. Animals are selected and bred in order for these superior traits to be passed onto the next generation. Animals may also be artificially selected for the purposes of creating purebred young. Purebred breeding aims to maintain certain traits and to keep them stable.

  • Genetic engineering
Genetic engineering uses modern DNA technology to manipulate an organism's genome. Foreign DNA or synthetic genes are introduced to the organism in order to encourage the development of certain traits. A genetically modified organism is one that has been generated through the introduction of recombinant DNA. Most genetic engineering involves a new genetic material being inserting into an unspecified location within the host genome.

  • Plant breeding
This involves changing the genetics of plants so that desired characteristics and traits can be produced. Plant breeding is carried out by farmers and gardeners, as well as professional plant breeders, across the world and is considered important for food security.

  • Selective breeding
Selective breeding can be carried out on plants and animals in order to produce particularly desired genetic traits. Animals may be inbred, linebred or outcrossed in a similar way to plants. Animals that have been selectively bred are referred to as 'breeds' while plants are termed 'varieties', 'cultigens' or 'cultivars'.

Artificial selection has been used by humans since civilization began. Plants, animals and humans can all be affected by artificial selection and the increase in experimental biology technology is allowing more and more complex procedures to be carried out.

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