Scientific and technological advancements have led to great expansion of poultry sector in last few decades. The development of genetically superior stocks capable of higher production, even under adverse climatic conditions, has transformed poultry from rural farming to full-fledged industry within 30–35 years. Increase in production volume and productivity per bird may largely be attributed to the combined crossbred and purebred selection (CCPS). The superior purebred lines were evaluated for their nicking ability by specialized cross-breeding program, and the best nicking male and female lines were used for developing four-way commercial crosses. With advancement in molecular techniques, the DNA marker technology emerged as a finer tool for assessing the genetic variability. Genome-wide scan using microsatellites led to identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for their use in marker-assisted selection (MAS). Subsequently, the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were discovered as third generation of genetic markers. Recent “next-generation sequencing” technique led to the development of high-density SNP arrays as powerful tool for genetic analysis. Predicting genomic estimate of breeding value (GEBV) of individual using SNPs across the whole genome paved way to conceptualization of “genomic selection” which emerged as the most advanced technology to revolutionize the animal production.
Part of the book: Application of Genetics and Genomics in Poultry Science