A Breeder’s Guide to Genetics -

Relax, It’s Not Rocket Science

By Ingrid Wood & Denise Como

Softcover, 314 pages, 6x9 format, illustrated

Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse, 2004

Wood & Como introduce readers to genetic concepts such as dominant and recessive genes, polygenic inheritance and genomic imprinting. Various breeding programs are explored in great detail. Issues such as breeding fads and common myths are candidly explored. Other chapters offer information on DNA testing, hybrid vigor, understanding pedigrees and sex chromosomes. An entire section features the basic concepts of color inheritance. All scientific concepts and terms are clearly explained, often using practical examples.

The book's content - including a carefully selected reference section - provides breeders with the tools to make more informed breeding decisions. Since humans share considerable portions of DNA with our fellow creatures, people from all walks of life will appreciate the wealth of information presented here. Whether readers have dogs, cats, horses, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, cows, or any other type of animal, the basic concepts are the same.

Some of the subjects discussed are: the basics of genetic language, understanding terms the experts use, cell physiology, DNA - RNA - protein, genomic imprinting, dominant genes, genetic probabilities, lethal dominants, incomplete penetrance, recessive genes, polygenic inheritance, opposites in breeding, inbreeding, linebreeding, the co-efficient of inbreeding, outbreeding , crossbreeding, hybrid vigor, genetic anomalies, DNA testing, mutations, avoiding extremes, fads or function, pedigree power/pedigree perils, nurture helping nature, the basics of color inheritance, color loci, color coding, blue eyes in alpacas, compromises, information on Suri and Huacaya alpacas, and more.

The authors' sense of humor - and artist Maryann Conran's delightful illustrations - emphasize and support the message: learning about genetics can be fun! A prior knowledge of genetics is not required to enjoy this book. Relax - it's not rocket science!

Ingrid Wood and Denise Como share a love of animals, good books, and writing. Their independent interest in sighthounds began in the late sixties. Through the years, both have been active in showing, breeding, racing, and lure coursing their hounds.

Como, whose Wolfwind hounds are known among sighthound fanciers, frequently attends field trials as a licensed ASFA and AKC lure coursing judge. She is currently attempting to make the rounds of Whippet race meets in the Northeast. In 1995, Wood added a small herd of Huacaya alpacas to her menagerie of several generations of Stormwind Whippets. She's since learned to spin and knit with fine alpaca fiber. Both women have contributed articles to numerous dog and camelid publications in the USA, as well as abroad. A Breeder's Guide to Genetics is Como's third reference book.

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