Chicken isn’t just for dinner anymore. As Poultry Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology shows, biotechnology has taken this lowly bird from the cutting board to the cutting edge.
Edited by Sammy Aggrey, a UGA quantitative and molecular geneticist, and Bill Muir, a Purdue geneticist, the textbook shows two distinct poultry science communities: those who study the chicken as an agricultural commodity and those who study the chicken to better understand human disease.
“In the 1950s, the problem was producing enough chickens,” Aggrey says. “Over the past 50 years, we solved that problem but created new problems-mostly breeding problems. The first part of the book is about those problems and issues that need to be solved.”
The textbook was edited in cyberspace since contributors hailed from around the world. Even the editors never met face-to-face as they compiled the book. The result, Aggrey believes, is “fantastic.”
“There is a lot of appeal for everyone in the biotech fields, including those working on humans,” he says.