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Genetics and adaptation : introduction

INRA Prod. Anim., 15(5), 343-348.


1 INRA, Station de Recherches Avicoles, 37380 Tours

2 INRA, Laboratoire de Génétique Cellulaire, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan

3 INRA, Laboratoire de Neurogénétique et Stress, Institut F. Magendie, 33077 Bordeaux Cedex

4 INRA SCRIBE, Campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes Cedex

5 INRA Institut de Neurosciences Physiologiques et Cognitives ; INPC.CNRS 31 Chemin Joseph-Aiguier, 13402 Marseille Cedex 20


Because of the complexity of the measurement ofanimal welfare, studying genetics of animals’ potentialof adaptation to their environment or to differentstresses would contribute to appreciate the contributionof genetics to the control of animal welfare.However, such studies address many questions : the animals’potential of adaptation cannot be summarised inone measurement, the choice and interpretation of thetests are difficult, partly because many factors interfere(rearing conditions, social environment, the animal’sexperience, nature of stimuli…). Moreover, the geneticanalysis of the data often leads to methodological problems.Genomics will help to better understand thecontribution of genetics as well as the genetic relationshipsbetween traits. But it will neither solve the questionof the interpretation of results nor that of theirimportance.

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