Journal article

The distribution of SNP marker effects for faecal worm egg count in sheep, and the feasibility of using these markers to predict genetic merit for resistance to worm infections

Kathryn E Kemper, David L Emery, Stephen C Bishop, Hutton Oddy, Benjamin J Hayes, Sonja Dominik, John M Henshall, Michael E Goddard



SummaryGenetic resistance to gastrointestinal worms is a complex trait of great importance in both livestock and humans. In order to gain insights into the genetic architecture of this trait, a mixed breed population of sheep was artificially infected with Trichostrongylus colubriformis (n=3326) and then Haemonchus contortus (n=2669) to measure faecal worm egg count (WEC). The population was genotyped with the Illumina OvineSNP50 BeadChip and 48 640 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers passed the quality controls. An independent population of 316 sires of mixed breeds with accurate estimated breeding values for WEC were genotyped for the same SNP to assess the results obtained from t..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

The authors thank the sheep breeders and other industry contributors who donated semen for use in the SheepGenomics flock, namely Lynton Arney (Inverbrackie, Strathalbyn SA), Kim Barnet (Miramoona, Walcha NSW), Guy Bowen (Mount Ronan, York WA), Andrew Burgess (Ruby Hills, Walcha NSW), George Carter (Linton, Woolbrook NSW), Neil and Jeff Johnson (Johnos, Keith SA), John Karlsson (Department of Agriculture Western Australia, WA), Jim Litchfield (Hazeldean, Cooma NSW), Robert Mortimer (Centre Plus, Tullamore NSW), Don Pegler (Oaklea, Mt Gambier SA), Ian Purvis (CSIRO Livestock Industries, Armidale NSW) and Julius van der Werf (University of New England, Armidale NSW). We are grateful for the contributions of Amy Bell, John Owens, Nigel Strutt, George Nichols, Alistair Donelson, Jason Siddell, Troy Fisher, Darryl Smith, Alex Ball, James Kijas, Russell McCulloch and Fiona McLoughlin for collecting and processing the samples used in this study. The authors also thank Australian Wool growers and the Australian government through Australian Wool Innovation, the Department of Agriculture and Food at the University of Melbourne and the BBSRC for financial support. SheepGenomics is an initiative of Australian Wool Innovation, Meat and Livestock Australia and 11 Research Organisations throughout Australia and New Zealand.