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BMC Genomics. 2016 Nov 3;17(1):863.

Genome-wide analysis reveals signatures of selection for important traits in domestic sheep from different ecoregions.

Author information

1
Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Biotechnology and Disease Control and Prevention, College of Animal Science and Technology, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, Shandong, 271018, China.
2
Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Biotechnology and Disease Control and Prevention, College of Animal Science and Technology, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, Shandong, 271018, China. wangjm@sdau.edu.cn.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Throughout a long period of adaptation and selection, sheep have thrived in a diverse range of ecological environments. Mongolian sheep is the common ancestor of the Chinese short fat-tailed sheep. Migration to different ecoregions leads to changes in selection pressures and results in microevolution. Mongolian sheep and its subspecies differ in a number of important traits, especially reproductive traits. Genome-wide intraspecific variation is required to dissect the genetic basis of these traits.

RESULTS:

This research resequenced 3 short fat-tailed sheep breeds with a 43.2-fold coverage of the sheep genome. We report more than 17 million single nucleotide polymorphisms and 2.9 million indels and identify 143 genomic regions with reduced pooled heterozygosity or increased genetic distance to each other breed that represent likely targets for selection during the migration. These regions harbor genes related to developmental processes, cellular processes, multicellular organismal processes, biological regulation, metabolic processes, reproduction, localization, growth and various components of the stress responses. Furthermore, we examined the haplotype diversity of 3 genomic regions involved in reproduction and found significant differences in TSHR and PRL gene regions among 8 sheep breeds.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results provide useful genomic information for identifying genes or causal mutations associated with important economic traits in sheep and for understanding the genetic basis of adaptation to different ecological environments.

KEYWORDS:

Microevolution; Reproduction; Selection signal; Sheep; Whole-genome resequencing

PMID:
27809776
PMCID:
PMC5094087
DOI:
10.1186/s12864-016-3212-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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