Review on Current Status of Animal Biotechnology and Options for Improving Animal Production in Developing Countries

Andualem Tonamo


Biotechnologies have contributed immensely to increasing livestock productivity, particularly in developed countries, and can help to alleviate poverty and hunger, reduce the threats of diseases and ensure environmental sustainability in developing countries. A wide range of biotechnologies are available and have already been used in developing countries in the main animal science disciplines, i.e. animal reproduction, genetics and breeding; animal nutrition and production; and animal health. In animal reproduction, genetics and breeding, artificial insemination (AI) has perhaps been the most widely applied animal biotechnology, particularly in combination with cryopreservation, allowing significant genetic improvement for productivity as well as the global dissemination of selected male germplasm. Complementary technologies such as semen sexing can improve the efficiency of AI. Embryo transfer provides the same opportunities for females, albeit on a much smaller scale and at a much greater price. Molecular DNA markers can also be used for genetic improvement through marker-assisted selection (MAS) as well as to characterize and conserve animal genetic resources. Biotechnologies for animal nutrition and production are often based on the use of micro-organisms including those produced through recombinant DNA technology. Fermentation technologies are used to produce nutrients such as particular essential amino acids or complete proteins or to improve the digestibility of animal feeds. Microbial cultures are used to increase the quality of silage or to improve digestion, when fed as probiotics. Biotechnologies in animal health are used to increase the precision of disease diagnosis as well as for disease control and treatment. Specific options that should assist developing countries make informed decisions regarding the adoption of appropriate biotechnologies in the livestock sector in the future.

Keywords: Animal Biotechnology, Developing Country, Production

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ISSN (Paper)2224-7181 ISSN (Online)2225-062X

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