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Anim Genet. 2014 Apr;45(2):240-7. doi: 10.1111/age.12122. Epub 2014 Feb 13.

Identifying chromosomal selection-sweep regions in facial eczema selection-line animals using an ovine 50K-SNP array.

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AgResearch Invermay, Private Bag 50034, Mosgiel, 9053, New Zealand.


Facial eczema (FE) is a hepato-mycotoxicosis found mainly in New Zealand sheep and cattle. When genetics was found to be a factor in FE susceptibility, resistant and susceptible selection lines of Romney sheep were established to enable further investigations of this disease trait. Using the Illumina OvineSNP50 BeadChip, we conducted a selection-sweep experiment on these FE genetic lines. Two analytical methods were used to detect selection signals, namely the Peddrift test (Dodds & McEwan, 1997) and fixation index FST (Weir & Hill, 2002). Of 50 975 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers tested, there were three that showed highly significant allele frequency differences between the resistant and susceptible animals (Peddrift nominal P < 0.000001). These SNP loci are located on chromosomes OAR1, OAR11 and OAR12 that coincide precisely with the three highest genomic FST peaks. In addition, there are nine less significant Peddrift SNPs (nominal P ≤ 0.000009) on OAR6 (n = 2), OAR9 (n = 2), OAR12, OAR19 (n = 2), OAR24 and OAR26. In smoothed FST (five-SNP moving average) plots, the five most prominent peaks are on OAR1, OAR6, OAR7, OAR13 and OAR19. Although these smoothed FST peaks do not coincide with the three most significant Peddrift SNP loci, two (on OAR6 and OAR19) overlap with the set of less significant Peddrift SNPs above. Of these 12 Peddrift SNPs and five smoothed FST regions, none is close to the FE candidate genes catalase and ABCG2; however, two on OAR1 and one on OAR13 fall within suggestive quantitative trait locus regions identified in a previous genome screen experiment. The present studies indicated that there are at least eight genomic regions that underwent a selection sweep in the FE lines.


complex trait; liver disease; mycotoxin; selection signatures; single nucleotide polymorphism chip

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