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[RC] Cloning Horses - k s swigart

Heidi said:

And I also wonder about genetic diseases and limiting the gene pool.
Sure, cloning is expensive now, but that is the case with most new
breakthroughs. Then eventually it becomes more affordable and more
people get into it.

Very valid concerns if it process becomes common.  Never mind the
that there is something important in the recombination process in the

Actually, not a valid concern in this instance at all.  The purpose of
this cloning was to retrieve genetic material that was lost by having
gelded the horse.

What causes a far greater loss of genetic diversity is the over-use of
popular stallions and the under-use of quality individuals that were
removed from the gene pool before getting to contribute to it.

The purpose of this cloning was not to produce a multitude of exact
duplicates of Cash (which is the thing that lots of other breeders up to
this point have been trying to do by inbreeding), but rather to allow
his genetic material to be passed on to future generations in the time
honored way...of recombinent DNA. Breeding closely related (relatively
speaking) individuals in a "line breeding" program is more likely to
reduce the diversity of the gene pool than (re)creating a fertile
version of a hybrid so that he may breed on.

As an aside, it is also worthwhile to note that it is not necessary for
an individual to breed true for that individual to breed well.  In fact,
the more "true" an individual breeds, the less chance there is for
improvement. And the mark of a truely great sire is that he can produce
better than himself.  Stallions that are from more closely bred programs
have less chance of producing better than themselves (of course, they
also have less chance of producing worse than themselves too :)).

Orange County, Calif.

Orange County, Calif.


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