Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic Underpinnings Of Sheep Traits May Yield Clues To Greater Productivity

Date:
August 28, 2008
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Keeping America's sheep healthy and productive while expanding the market for wool and lamb is the goal of scientists who are matching the animals' physical traits to the genes that underpin their expression.

Information gathered on a sheep and its relatives is helping ARS scientists learn just how much a trait is affected by genes or by nongenetic factors.
Credit: Photo by Stephen Ausmus

Keeping America's sheep healthy and productive while expanding the market for wool and lamb is the goal of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists who are matching the animals' physical traits to the genes that underpin their expression.

Related Articles


The scientists are pursuing this research mainly at three ARS locations: the Animal Diseases Research Unit (ADRU) in Pullman, Wash.; the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois, Idaho; and the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb.

At Dubois, the team led by Gregory Lewis is investigating reproductive efficiency, mineral retention and other traits. Michelle Mousel, an ARS geneticist at Dubois, has also created a bank of frozen tissue specimens from the station's on-site flock of 6,000 lambs, ewes and rams in support of that work, as well as data analysis and genotyping efforts.

At Pullman, ARS scientists Lynn Herrmann-Hoesing, Stephen White and Donald Knowles, who leads ADRU, are using the tissue samples to study whether ovine progressive pneumonia virus levels are affected by specific sheep immune response genes. Their goal is a molecular test with which to measure the levels of such infectious agents in sheep.

Scrapie, a degenerative neurological disease of sheep, is another concern. At Clay Center, ARS microbiologist Michael Heaton and colleagues used DNA analysis and genotyping procedures to identify sheep with 21 prion gene alleles (alternate forms of a gene) that influence genetic resistance to scrapie. The advance has given rise to faster, better and cheaper methods of detecting scrapie susceptibility in sheep and eliminating their predisposition to the disease through selective breeding.

Parallel studies under way at Clay Center and Dubois focus on the so-called myostatin mutation in Texel sheep. Through conventional breeding, researchers eventually may be able to harness the mutation to increase the size of lamb chops without adversely affecting tenderness.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Jan Suszkiw. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Genetic Underpinnings Of Sheep Traits May Yield Clues To Greater Productivity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825201021.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2008, August 28). Genetic Underpinnings Of Sheep Traits May Yield Clues To Greater Productivity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825201021.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Genetic Underpinnings Of Sheep Traits May Yield Clues To Greater Productivity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825201021.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rare Goblin Shark Found in Australia

Rare Goblin Shark Found in Australia

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) A goblin shark, a rare sea creature described as an &apos;alien of the deep&apos; is found off Australia and delivered to the Australian Museum in Sydney. Duration: 01:25 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
500 Snakes Surprise Construction Workers In Canada

500 Snakes Surprise Construction Workers In Canada

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Hundreds of snakes, disturbed by a construction project, were relocated to a wildlife rescue association in Canada. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Going Gluten-Free Could Get You A Tax Break

Going Gluten-Free Could Get You A Tax Break

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) If a doctor advises you to remove gluten from your diet, you could get a tax deduction on the amount you spend on gluten-free foods. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Zookeepers Copy Animal Poses In Hilarious Viral Photos

Zookeepers Copy Animal Poses In Hilarious Viral Photos

Buzz60 (Mar. 2, 2015) Zookeepers at the Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh, Australia decided to take some of their favorite animal photos and recreate them by posing just like the animals. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins