Graduate Study
Animal Genetics and Breeding

Study Programme Coordinator: Assist. Prof. Maja Ferenčaković, PhD


The fast trend in developments of informatics and genetics is continuing in 21st Century, so, it is logical to suppose that those areas will be unavoidable for modern agriculture. Master study Animal Genetics and Breedingis conditioned by development of genetics, informatics, and biometrics as well as by reproduction techniques and gene transfer. The study consists of knowledge on three fields; a) animal breeding, b) application of molecular genetics in livestock production and c) reproduction of "superior" genetic material. Together with theoretical knowledge, the students will have practical lectures; a) from quantitative methods (biometry, quantitative genetics, etc), b) in the laboratory for functional genomics and conservation genetics (DNA isolation, PCR, etc) and c) in applications of reproductive techniques (artificial inseminations, etc). The future students with master degree in Animal Genetics and Breeding are necessary for future successful production of food, for good understanding of modern livestock production and for planning of overall development.


The objective of Animal Genetics and Breeding study programme is application of fundamental biological sciences (genetics, biometrics, molecular biology, reproduction, animal physiology, etc.) in breeding of productive and reproductive properties as well as in preserving endangered species and animal breeds (wild animals, livestock and pets). The emphasis is on the application of genetics (molecular, quantitative and population), with an important proportion of statistical biometrical methods. The study programmes provides insights into molecular DNA analysis and molecular, productive and reproductive data analysis with intensive use of IT technology and laboratories. Apart from theoretical knowledge, students have opportunity to analyse practical problems using the latest techniques in genetics, breeding and reproduction. Students will develop skills needed to work in business and education as well as in public services and genetics laboratories. Working with small groups of students enables individual approach and student-centred learning. Great importance is given to scientific work than enables students to compete successfully for national and international postgraduate studies.

Learning outcomes

  1. Define basic principles of genetic, biochemistry, physiology, molecular biology and statistic in breeding of important productive and reproductive characteristics of animals and preservation of endangered breeds
  2. Explain the structure,expression and regulation of genes and functionand replication of DNA in the cell for the purpose of application in animal breeding and to explain how genes control heredity properties on the examples in animal breeding
  3. Explain genetic and environmental sources of discontinuous and continuous variation, to explain the role of environment on gene expression and by using the statistical models to analyse their influence on properties of milk production, growth, fertility and function of animals
  4. Identify and describe procedures and laboratory methods in molecular genetics, their advantages and disadvantages
  5. Analyse genetic material in the laboratory, to explain the foundations of statistical genetics and bioinformatics in gene detection
  6. Apply common bioinformatics programs for scanning genetic databases of different animal species
  7. Describe selection methods and a way of genetic value evaluation, to calculate genetic parameters
  8. Estimate the breeding value and the influence of genetic markers, to identify the best animals for breeding and interpret the report of animal genetic evaluation
  9. Calculate indicators which describes genetic and familial connection, the degree of inbreeding, population structure and diversity and variability within and among populations by using the mathematical expressions, simulations and computer programs
  10. Set up and develop a breeding program at the farm and participate in planning and implementation of breeding programs at the population level by defining key factors (breeding objectives and selection criteria, crossing schemes and pairing system)
  11. Single out and critically evaluate the key factors of breeding plan
  12. Describe procedures at the farm in certain biological and physiological conditions of animals and explain application of health care and reproductive technologies
  13. Propose problem solutions that can occur in breeding of different animal categories and to  describe and analyse the factors that influence on management of breeding animals
  14. Implement and use software for managing databases in breeding, Internet in monitoring the developments in genetics, animals breeding and related fields
  15. Participate in problem solving in animal genetics, breeding, biotechnology and conservation of genetic material and to respect ethical principles in genetics and identification of strengths and weaknesses in the use of genetic information and techniques

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