Genetics and Breeding in Sheep and Goats

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2024 | Viewed by 4091

Special Issue Editor

College of Animal Science and Technology/Gansu Key Laboratory of Herbivorous Animal Biotechnology, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
Interests: small ruminant; functional gene; animal genetics; animal breeding; gene regulation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Domestic sheep and goats are valuable farm animals that provide us with meat, milk, and textile fiber. Most of these traits are quantitative and controlled by multiple genes and environments. Elucidating the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of these economic traits is critical to understanding how a trait comes into being. The existence of gene polymorphism contributes to the difference of phenotypic characteristics and susceptibility to environmental factors among different individuals. As for epigenetics, DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin remodeling, and non-coding RNA are key factors involved in gene expression regulation. The objective of this issue is to explore genetic and epigenetic factors affecting sheep and goat phenotypes. We focus on not only the economic traits of sheep and goats, but also their resistance and adaptability. We welcome original research articles, brief research reports, and reviews covering (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Functional gene variation affecting phenotypes;
  • Identification of gene function;
  • Gene regulatory network;
  • Gene expression regulation;
  • Epigenetic regulation (DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin remodeling and non-coding RNA);
  • Genetic factors affecting the resistance and adaptation of sheep and goats.

Dr. Shaobin Li
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • sheep
  • goat
  • phenotype
  • gene polymorphism
  • gene expression regulation
  • gene function
  • DNA methylation
  • chromatin remodeling
  • non-coding RNA

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

8 pages, 628 KiB  
Article
Ovine KRT81 Variants and Their Influence on Selected Wool Traits of Commercial Value
by Wenhao Li, Lingrong Bai, Huitong Zhou, Zhihe Zhang, Zhijie Ma, Guofang Wu, Yuzhu Luo, Jasmine Tanner and Jon G. H. Hickford
Genes 2024, 15(6), 681; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15060681 - 24 May 2024
Viewed by 142
Abstract
Keratins are the main structural protein components of wool fibres, and variation in them and their genes (KRTs) is thought to influence wool structure and characteristics. The PCR–single strand conformation polymorphism technique has been used previously to investigate genetic variation in [...] Read more.
Keratins are the main structural protein components of wool fibres, and variation in them and their genes (KRTs) is thought to influence wool structure and characteristics. The PCR–single strand conformation polymorphism technique has been used previously to investigate genetic variation in selected coding and intron regions of the type II sheep keratin gene KRT81, but no variation was identified. In this study, we used the same technique to explore the 5′ untranslated region of KRT81 and detected three sequence variants (A, B and C) that contain four single nucleotide polymorphisms. Among the 389 Merino × Southdown cross sheep investigated, variant B was linked to a reduction in clean fleece weight, while C was associated with an increase in both greasy fleece weight and clean fleece weight. No discernible effects on staple length or mean-fibre-diameter-related traits were observed. These findings suggest that variation in ovine KRT81 might influence wool growth by changing the density of wool follicles in the skin, the density of individual fibres, or the area of the skin producing fibre, as opposed to changing the rate of extrusion of fibres or their diameter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Breeding in Sheep and Goats)
10 pages, 1756 KiB  
Article
Identification of FASN Gene Polymorphisms, Expression and Their Relationship with Body Size Traits in Guizhou White Goat (Capra hircus) with Different Genders
by Qingming An, Lingli Zeng, Wenying Wang, Jiangyu Yang, Jinzhu Meng, Yuanyuan Zhao and Xingchao Song
Genes 2024, 15(6), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15060656 - 22 May 2024
Viewed by 269
Abstract
To investigate the nucleotide variation sites (SNPs) and expression differences of the fatty acid synthase gene (FASN) in Guizhou white goats, the relationship between the variation and body size traits was investigated. In this study, DNA was extracted from the blood [...] Read more.
To investigate the nucleotide variation sites (SNPs) and expression differences of the fatty acid synthase gene (FASN) in Guizhou white goats, the relationship between the variation and body size traits was investigated. In this study, DNA was extracted from the blood of 100 samples of white goats from different regions in Guizhou province, China, and the variation sites were screened using pooled sequencing by mixing DNA samples, and 242 blood samples with body size traits were used for association analysis. The allele frequency, genotype frequency, homozygosity, heterozygosity and effective gene number were calculated by using PopGene 32.0 software, the population polymorphism information content was calculated by using PIC software (Version 0.6), and the state of genetic balance of the genes was analyzed by using the chi-square test. The mRNA of FASN gene expression levels in male and female goats were investigated by using real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). The general linear mixed model of MINTAB software (Version 16.0) was used to analyze the association between FASN gene nucleotide mutation sites and body size traits. The results showed that there was one nucleotide mutation site g.141 C/T in the target fragment of FASN gene amplification, and revealed two alleles, C and T, and three genotypes CC, CT and TT. The genotype frequencies for CC, CT and TT were 0.4308, 0.4205 and 0.1487, respectively. The allele frequencies for C and T were 0.6410 and 0.3590, respectively. The genetic homozygosity (Ho) was higher than the heterozygosity (He). The χ2 test showed that the mutation site was in the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium state (p > 0.05). The RT-qPCR results showed that the FASN gene had different expression levels in the longissimus dorsi muscle of male and female goats, and its expression was significantly higher in male goats than in female goats. The association analysis results showed that the mutation of the FASN gene had different effects on body size traits of male and female goats, and the presence of the populations of the T allele and the TT genotype recorded higher body size traits (body weight, heart girth and wither height) in female populations. Therefore, the site of the FASN gene can be used as a candidate marker for the early selection of growth traits in Guizhou white goats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Breeding in Sheep and Goats)
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11 pages, 2079 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Expression Characterization of KRTAP6 Family Genes and Its Effect on Wool Traits
by Hongxian Sun, Zhaohua He, Fangfang Zhao, Jiang Hu, Jiqing Wang, Xiu Liu, Zhidong Zhao, Mingna Li, Yuzhu Luo and Shaobin Li
Genes 2024, 15(1), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15010095 - 14 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Keratin-related proteins (KAPs) are structural components of wool fibers and are thought to play a key role in regulating the physical and mechanical properties of fibers. Among all KAP genes (KRTAPs), KRTAP6 gene family (KRTAP6-1, KRTAP6-2, KRTAP6-3, [...] Read more.
Keratin-related proteins (KAPs) are structural components of wool fibers and are thought to play a key role in regulating the physical and mechanical properties of fibers. Among all KAP genes (KRTAPs), KRTAP6 gene family (KRTAP6-1, KRTAP6-2, KRTAP6-3, KRTAP6-4, and KRTAP6-5) is a very important member with high polymorphism and notable association with some wool traits. In this study, we used real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) and in situ hybridization to investigate spatiotemporal expression of KRTAP6s. The results revealed that KRTAP6 family genes were significantly expressed during anagen compared to other stages (p < 0.05). And it was found the five genes were expressed predominantly in the dermal papillae, inner and outer root sheaths, and showed a distinct spatiotemporal expression pattern. Also, it was found that KRTAP6-1 and KRTAP6-5 mRNA expression was negatively correlated with wool mean fiber diameter (MFD) and mean staple strength (MSS) (p < 0.05). In summary, the KRTAP6 family genes share a similar spatiotemporal expression pattern. And KRTAP6-1 and KRTAP6-5 may regulate the MFD and MSS of Gansu Alpine fine-wool sheep wool by changing the expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Breeding in Sheep and Goats)
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15 pages, 3169 KiB  
Article
Genomic Landscape of Copy Number Variations and Their Associations with Climatic Variables in the World’s Sheep
by Hosein Salehian-Dehkordi, Jia-Hui Huang, Nasrollah Pirany, Hossein Mehrban, Xiao-Yang Lv, Wei Sun, Ali Esmailizadeh and Feng-Hua Lv
Genes 2023, 14(6), 1256; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14061256 - 13 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1717
Abstract
Sheep show characteristics of phenotypic diversity and adaptation to diverse climatic regions. Previous studies indicated associations between copy number variations (CNVs) and climate-driven adaptive evolution in humans and other domestic animals. Here, we constructed a genomic landscape of CNVs (n = 39,145) [...] Read more.
Sheep show characteristics of phenotypic diversity and adaptation to diverse climatic regions. Previous studies indicated associations between copy number variations (CNVs) and climate-driven adaptive evolution in humans and other domestic animals. Here, we constructed a genomic landscape of CNVs (n = 39,145) in 47 old autochthonous populations genotyped at a set of high-density (600 K) SNPs to detect environment-driven signatures of CNVs using a multivariate regression model. We found 136 deletions and 52 duplications that were significantly (Padj. < 0.05) associated with climatic variables. These climate-mediated selective CNVs are involved in functional candidate genes for heat stress and cold climate adaptation (e.g., B3GNTL1, UBE2L3, and TRAF2), coat and wool-related traits (e.g., TMEM9, STRA6, RASGRP2, and PLA2G3), repairing damaged DNA (e.g., HTT), GTPase activity (e.g., COPG), fast metabolism (e.g., LMF2 and LPIN3), fertility and reproduction (e.g., SLC19A1 and CCDC155), growth-related traits (e.g., ADRM1 and IGFALS), and immune response (e.g., BEGAIN and RNF121) in sheep. In particular, we identified significant (Padj. < 0.05) associations between probes in deleted/duplicated CNVs and solar radiation. Enrichment analysis of the gene sets among all the CNVs revealed significant (Padj. < 0.05) enriched gene ontology terms and pathways related to functions such as nucleotide, protein complex, and GTPase activity. Additionally, we observed overlapping between the CNVs and 140 known sheep QTLs. Our findings imply that CNVs can serve as genomic markers for the selection of sheep adapted to specific climatic conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Breeding in Sheep and Goats)
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