What is selective breeding?

One of the earliest forms of biotechnology is responsible for many of the plants and animals that we know today.

Selective breeding, also known as artificial selection, is a process used by humans to develop new organisms with desirable characteristics. Breeders select two parents that have beneficial phenotypic traits to reproduce, yielding offspring with those desired traits. Selective breeding can be used to produce tastier fruits and vegetables, crops with greater resistance to pests, and larger animals that can be used for meat. The term “artificial selection” was coined by Charles Darwin in his famous work on evolution, On the Origin of Species, but the practice itself predates Darwin by thousands of years. As some of the earliest forms of biotechnology, both plant and animal breeding have been common practice since the birth of civilization.

Perhaps the earliest example of selective breeding is the domestic dog (Canis familiaris). It is unknown exactly when and where dogs were first domesticated, but humans have been breeding dogs for at least 14,000 years. Scientists believe that the domestic dog evolved from the wild gray wolf (Canis lupus), and through artificial selection, humans were able to create hundreds of different dog breeds. As people domesticated and bred dogs, they favored specific traits, like size or intelligence, for certain tasks, such as hunting, shepherding, or companionship. As a result, many dog breeds vastly differ in appearance, a unique phenomenon in the animal world, as different breeds of a single species generally resemble each other. The Chihuahua and the Dalmatian, for instance, are both

— source treehugger.com | Max Carol

Nullius in verba

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