Also referred to as artificial selection, selective breeding is the practice done by agriculturists and farmers wherein animals or plants are chosen to breed and produce offspring that have specific traits or characteristics. This process had been applied hundreds of years ago and is still very much in existence today. However, there are also pros and cons associated with this breeding method.
List of Advantages of Selective Breeding
1. It can result to more produce and agricultural products.
One of the advantages of selective breeding is the possibility of gaining higher profit with the process. An example is when cows that have the characteristics to produce more milk other traditionally bred cows are selectively bred. These cows will produce offspring that will also have the same traits. Same goes with plants that undergo the process. If plants or varieties bear abundant fruits or crops, they can be breed selectively to produce more crops that can be sold for higher profit.
2. It can eliminate control diseases in plants and animals.
Studies have shown that with this process, there is a big possibility of eradicating diseases since the farmers are given the opportunity to identify plants and animals that have diseases or have disorders. This way, the producers will be able to control the growth and population of their crops and livestock because the offspring will come from healthy parents.
3. It can result to superior breed.
With the process of choosing particular animals and plants that show characteristics that are specific to the preference of the breeder or farmer, say, chickens that lay large eggs or dogs that have champion blood lines, the chances of producing better breed of plants and animals are higher.
List of Disadvantages of Selective Breeding
1. There is the possibility of genetic mutation.
One disadvantage that is seen by experts is the lack of control in preventing the offspring from having unfavorable traits. An example is when genetic mutation occurs in planted crops. The sad part is, most of these mutations do not offer benefits. In this method or process, the formation of genes cannot be controlled or regulated.
2. This can result to the lost of genes from the genetic pool.
Since animals and plants will be chosen for their certain characteristics and bred with other species that also have specific traits, the offspring might be entirely different. Consequently, there is the risk to lose some of the genes coming from the parents and in the end, it will be difficult to bring it back to the next generation.
3. This can result to risks of having diseases.
Selectively bred animals and plants can lead to offspring having similar genes and at the same time, it will result to diseases becoming more dangerous. Aside from this, there is also an increased possibility of having genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis caused by recessive alleles.
Selective breeding has both advantages and disadvantages. Despite the existence of benefits and setbacks, this process still remains to be significant and is still helpful in many ways. What is important is for the breeders to make the appropriate choices to ensure the pros outweigh the cons.
Crystal Lombardo has been a staff writer for Future of Working for five years. She is a proud veteran and mother. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our editor-in-chief a message here.