technologies based on dna analysis with applications in animal production have recently experienced tremendous growth as a result of the progress of genomic research in all livestock species. the most relevant applications are the use of dna variability for genetic characterization of populations and animal identification, detection of carriers of undesirable allelic variants and marker-assisted selection (mas). mas is the application that has raised more expectations among cattlemen. in this case, the information obtained directly from the candidate's dna would reduce the need for phenotypic information, which in turn would have a direct impact on the rate of genetic progress by increasing accuracy in the estimation of breeding values and decreasing the generation interval. the progressive discovery of genes involved in the regulation of production traits lead to the construction of panels of markers that are validated and rapidly transferred to the industry. this process tends to the implementation of the so-called genomic selection, in which the association with a very high number of markers simultaneously attempts to capture the effect of all the genes with influence on a given trait. in argentina, there is growing interest on the new technology, which is far from reaching its limit. more applications will be developed in the coming years that will progressively be more cost effective and that undoubtedly will have great impact on production efficiency.