Cattle Losing Environmental Adaptations, Says Study

A study published in PLOS Genetics by University of Missouri researchers shows that cattle are losing the genetic adaptations that help them thrive in specific environments. The researchers say farmers’ lack of information about genetics is contributing to the loss of adaptations to environmental stresses. Over time, while genes associated with higher productivity and fertility improved due to careful selection by farmers, many genes connected to environmental adaptations have faded, say the scientists. They propose affordable genetic tests that could identify for farmers traits such as heat resistance in cattle.