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Arch Anim Breed. 2019 Oct 23;62(2):579-583. doi: 10.5194/aab-62-579-2019. eCollection 2019.

Recent advances in understanding genetic variants associated with growth, carcass and meat productivity traits in sheep (Ovis aries): an update.

Author information

Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia.
L. K. Ernst Federal Science Center for Animal Husbandry, Dubrovitsy, Moscow Region, Russia.
Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russia.


Identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and candidate genes that affect growth intensity is a prerequisite for the marker-assisted selection of economically important traits. The number of QTL studies on sheep is relatively small in comparison to those on cattle and pigs. The current QTL sheep database - Sheep QTLdb - contains information on 1658 QTLs for 225 different traits. A few genes and markers associated with growth, carcass and meat productivity traits have been reported. The information about QTLs from the Sheep QTLdb cannot be directly used in marker-assisted selection due to the lack of essential information such as effective and reference alleles, the effect direction etc., and it requires manual curation and validation. In this study we performed a comprehensive search for QTLs focusing on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with growth and meat traits in sheep. The database contains information about 156 SNP-trait associations (123 unique SNPs) and a list of 165 associated genes. The updated information is freely available at (last access: 18 September 2019). This information can be useful for further association studies and preliminary estimation of genetic variability for economically important traits in different breeds.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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