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Anim Genet. 2012 Aug;43(4):468-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2011.02271.x. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

A single nucleotide polymorphism on chromosome 10 is highly predictive for the polled phenotype in Australian Merino sheep.

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CSIRO Livestock Industries, Armidale, NSW, Australia.


The aim of this study was to fine map the genomic location of the Horns locus in the Australian Merino sheep population and to identify markers that can be used to predict the horn phenotype. A linkage disequilibrium analysis of horn data from Australian Merino sheep mapped the Horns locus to a small region on chromosome 10. A single nucleotide polymorphism in the region was found to be highly predictive for the polled phenotype in an experimental population of Merino sheep. This was owing to a dominance effect of one of the alleles when inherited maternally. It was suggested that a genetic test would provide a good predictor of the polled phenotype. Finally, an evaluation of industry data showed that the SNP is at very different frequencies in Poll Merino sheep that have been bred for polledness (based on phenotype alone) compared with the Merino sheep breed.

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