Shown are the three male calves of six recently born at Penn State's Dairy Farm, the result of a research project to reintroduce valuable genetic variance to the Holstein breed. Image: Amy Duke Amy Duke
Shown are the three male calves of six recently born at Penn State's Dairy Farm, the result of a research project to reintroduce valuable genetic variance to the Holstein breed.

Lost genetic diversity in Holsteins being recovered

Narrowing genetic base not a good thing for Holsteins because it leads to inbreeding, which could cause genetic defects, poor health and poor milk production.

Intense genetic selection can have an unintended side effect: the loss of genetic diversity.

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