Recent Advances in Sheep Genome Mapping

  • Crawford, A.M. (AgResearch Molecular Biology Unit and Centre for Gene Research, Department of Biochemistry University of Otago)
  • Published : 1999.11.01


The rapid development of the sheep genetic linkage map over the last five years has given us the ability to follow the inheritance of chromosomal regions. Initially this powerful resource was used to find markers linked to monogenic traits but there is now increasing interest in using the genetic linkage map to define the complex of genes that control multigenic production traits. Of particular interest are those production traits that are difficult to measure and select for using classical quantitative genetic approaches. These include resistance to disease where a disease challenge (necessary for selection) poses too much risk to valuable stud animals and meat and carcass qualities which can be measured only after the animal has been slaughtered. The goal for the new millennium will be to fully characterise the genetic basis of multigenic production traits. The genetic linkage map is a vital tool required to achieve this.