Improvement of forages to increase the efficiency of nitrogen and energy use in temperate pastoral livestock systems

Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-20
Number of pages16
JournalArchiva Zootechnica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
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This mini review considers some recent developments in forage breeding and rumen function that offer new opportunities to enhance livestock production and reduced environmental pollution. The paper calls for more exacting, underpinning research which describes how best to exploit forages for livestock through better understanding of phenotypic expression of selected traits and characteristics. The review assumes significant background knowledge in genome analysis, mapping, marker-assisted selection, introgression and transformation and describes how breeding targets are being influenced by issues relating to sustainability and climate change the emerging science-based concepts of plant cell death in herbivores and their potentially associated protein protection mechanisms. Although the review has generic applicability, the focus is on temperate forages and grassland-based systems of ruminant production. The review concentrates on grass and legume forages and does not cover developments in cereal crops, such as wheat and maize.