Artificial Selection: Definition, and 4 Examples

By | September 14, 2020
Artificial Selection

Artificial selection refers to the selection of the properties of certain organisms carried out deliberately by humans. The term was used by Charles Darwin to treat differently to world selection. In contrast to artificial selection, the selection of the world depends on the surrounding area that corresponds naturally to selecting variations of living beings according to the pressure of selection.

Artificial Selection Definition

Artificial selection is the selective breeding of animals and plants to produce offspring with desired and inherited characters. Artificial selection is a man-made selection process of the desired character, and it is mainly used in enhanced livestock and crops.

Farmers used artificial breeding even before Darwin’s discovery the genetics to maintain the inherited character they wanted in both animals and plants.

Useful characters such as the ability to produce more milk in cows, accelerated lean muscle growth, exotic pets such as Savannah cats and small dogs like Chihuahua are produced by artificial breeding. Belgian cows are maintained by selective breeding due to their accelerated lean muscle growth.

Furthermore, artificial selection is used in the production of incalculable diversity in plants. Corn, wheat, and soybean strains are developed by artificial selection of the beneficial properties in agriculture.

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard and kale are produced by selective breeding. Roses and orchids are also cultivated with selective breeding. Artificial selection can also produce a variety of colors in carrot roots.

Artificial Selection Examples

In biology, artificial selection includes a whole host of subtopics. A person can apply artificial selection to eradicate disease, increase agricultural yields per hectare, decrease competition in an ecosystem, or produce new colors in dog breeds.

With the latest step in uncovering the genetic sequence of a long list of organisms, it is possible to create genetic variations from within the embryo or even at the gamete level. Living things that have undergone genetic engineering techniques by altering DNA sequences are known as genetically modified organisms.

Livestock Farming

Castrating male animals to be more aggressive has been done for centuries, while males with genotypes, phenotypes (dominant traits) used for humans have been used as breeding males.

Artificial selection concerns not only the appearance, productivity, or muscle mass of food sources, but even their behavior. When riding a horse or riding a horse to pull plows, a horse that has been castrated is much easier to control than a regular stallion and, even before genetic studies, it is known that nervous disposition is not entirely an environmental error but due to inheritable properties.


Artificial Selection Example

Artificial selection has been used for thousands of years. It is estimated that it takes about 14,000 years of selective breeding to produce a large number of “pure” dogs today, although the pure phrase is not true, since only the native breed, the gray wolf is essential, pure.

From the huge Great Dane to the mini Chihuahua, and from the fastest and leanest bulldog to the shortest and slowest bulldog, each breed comes from a common ancestor.

Read also:
How To Choose A Healthy Chihuahua Puppy


Artificial selection of plants began when the first nomadic tribes settled and had to rely on local products. A common ancestor of many cabbage families today was the wild mustard plant, Brassica Oleracea.

Triticum monococcum or einkorn wheat was first cultivated in Asia about 40,000 years ago and it is considered the type from which all artificially selected wheat cultivars today originate. The ancestors of Einkorn wheat were ancient weeds.


Evolutionary biology has given us new techniques for controlling pests. These include genetic elimination (the release of insects carrying the dominant lethal gene, or RIDL), and reproductive disorders, in which genetically adapted sterile forms are released into natural populations (sterile insect techniques, or SIT).

One genetically modified pest can kill or even cause gender changes of another, or it can lower the reproductive rate of the entire population through induced sterilization.

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