This website was not designed for Internet Explorer 7.0 or below. Please consider upgrading your browser to one of the following:
Mozilla Firefox | Internet Explorer | Google Chrome | Apple Safari
URI Logo Academic Roadmap® Academic Roadmap Logo
University of Rhode Island — Animal & Veterinary Science
(Select a different school)(Select a different program)

AVS 420 - Animal Breeding and Genetics
Course Information

Professor: Dr. Darlene Jones
Semester: Fall
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Junior standing or above.

Catalog Description: Scientific methods for the genetic improvement of domesticated animals. Genetic variation and expected results of different types of selection and mating systems.

Course Goals & Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should have developed an understanding of:

  • The biochemistry of inheritance, chromosomes, mitosis and meiosis
  • Mendelian inheritance patterns
  • Extensions to Mendelian patterns of inheritance
  • Types and causes of chromosomal aberrations reported in animals
  • Diseases that result from inborn errors of metabolism
  • Polygenic disorders and the concepts of liability, threshold and heritability
  • The basic principles of population genetics, the Hardy-Weinberg principle and the forces that change gene frequency
  • Single-gene traits important to animal breeding
  • Selection between and within populations: EBV's, EPD's and accuracy
  • Mating systems: relationship and inbreeding, breed structure, and crossing
Course Syllabus

Class Topics

  • Basic genetics
  • Chromosomal aberrations
  • Diagnostics
  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Single genes in populations
  • Polygenic disorders
  • Selection for simply-inherited traits
  • Quantitative variation
  • Selection for multiple objectives
  • Mating strategies and breeding systems

Grades will be based upon the following criteria:

  • Exams
  • Assignments
  • Final exam
About The Professor

Darlene Jones, DVM
Lecturer, Animal Science

University of Rhode Island
Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science
25 Woodward Hall
Kingston, RI 02881
Office: (401)874-4623
Fax: (401)874-7575

Dr. Jones has recently joined the Department of Animal Science as a full-time lecturer. Prior to coming to the University of Rhode Island, Dr. Jones owned a mobile veterinary practice specializing in companion animal medicine. She also instructed various courses in animal anatomy, physiology, parasitology and biology at several local universities. Dr. Jones' veterinary expertise makes her a unique addition to the department.


  • B. S., Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
  • D.V.M., Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
Reasons To Take This Course

"I went into AVS 420 with a very basic understanding of genetics, and after the semester was finished I was fascinated with any topic on animal genetics. The information can seem very overwhelming at first, but the manner in which it is taught really breaks it down to help you understand the processes. You will end the semester with an enhanced understanding of DNA, heredity and genetic disorders." - Sarah

"Animal Breeding and Genetics was one required class in the curriculum that I honestly enjoyed. I found that the difficulty level was not as severe as I had anticipated, and that the concepts were easily grasped. It seems wrong to enjoy a genetics course but that was the case with me. The professor did a good job to keep the class's interest, and related topics of discussion to more practical and tangible exam" - Nick

Cool Links