Advanced Animal Genetics (VETS8004)


The unit of Study explores in detail genetic aspects of commercial animal populations and investigates options for the practical application of genetics to improve animal productivity. It is designed to provide the background material, fundamental concepts and data analysis methods for breeding strategies in the animal industries. The unit of study develops basic principles of population and quantitative genetics from Agricultural Genetics. It provides essential background and context to the molecular principles expanded in Animal Biotechnology. Animal Genetics provides the justification for the application for advanced reproductive technologies presented in Animal Reproduction.
At the end of this Unit of Study, students will demonstrate an understanding of: the principles of population genetics and the concepts of relationship and inbreeding, and adverse effects of this inbreeding; the principles of quantitative genetics including the concepts of genetic variance, heritability and repeatability, and methods for the identification and selection of superior livestock; the use of multi-trait selection procedures to increase the overall economic value of populations of animals; the constraints to production gains using genetic selection programmes and advantages obtained through crossbreeding; the practical application of selection and crossing in animals; the application of genomic and reproductive technologies in Animal breeding. Introductory bioinformatics, genomics, cytogenetics and conservation biology will be covered.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lectures 3 hrs/wk, practicals 3 hrs/wk


Practicals with associated reports and on-line quizzes (25%), Mid Semester on-line examination (25%), Final Examination (50%)


Nicholas, FW (2010) Introduction to Veterinary Genetics (3rd Ed) October 2009, ©2010, Wiley-Blackwell, Iowa, USA ISBN: 978-1-4051-6832-8

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

GENE2001 or MBLG2072 or MBLG2972 or equivalent



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.