Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


What's In The Sheep Genome? Wool See

What's In The Sheep Genome? Wool See

After eight years of work, researchers have completed the first sequencing of the entire sheep genome.

Scientists from CSIRO led an international research team to complete the sequencing, which could lead to more effective breeding strategies and new approaches to the management of sheep in Australia and around the world.

With about 70m head of sheep in Australia and 1bn globally, the sequencing of the genome could have a massive impact for the rural economy given that sheep are a major source of meat, milk and wool products.

“We investigated the completed genome to determine which genes are present in a process called gene annotation, which resulted in an advanced understanding of the genes involved in making sheep the unique animals that they are,” CSIRO project leader Dr Brian Dalrymple said.

“Given the importance of wool production, we focused on which genes were likely to be involved in producing wool. We identified a new pathway for the metabolism of lipid in sheep skin, which may play a role in both the development of wool and in the efficient production of wool grease (lanolin).”

Publication of the work today in the journal Science is the culmination of the project for the team, which is part of the International Sheep Genomics Consortium, involving 26 institutions across eight countries.

Another key finding from the study involved the rumen, which is a modified stomach full of micro-organisms vital for the digestion of a sheep’s diet. The rumen is essential for sheep to convert hard-to-digest plant material into animal protein, and is differentiated from the true stomach by its tough keratin-rich surface, which is very similar to skin.

Many genes normally expressed in skin are also highly expressed in the rumen, but a number of new genes were identified which are rumen-specific, as well as one which appears to be present in most mammals but has so far only been expressed in ruminants.

Sheep are also an important biomedical model, particularly in Australia, and the genomic resources built by the team will provide a strong foundation for the detailed exploration of the similarities and differences between sheep and humans at the molecular level, and hopefully lead to improved medical treatments for a number of conditions such as sepsis and asthma.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Insurers Up For More Payouts: Chch Property Investor Wins Policy Appeal In Supreme Court

Ridgecrest NZ, a property investor, has won an appeal in the Supreme Court over insurance cover provided by IAG New Zealand for a Christchurch building damaged in four successive earthquakes. More>>

ALSO:

Other Cases:

Royal Society: Review Finds Community Water Fluoridation Safe And Effective

A review of the scientific evidence for and against the efficacy and safety of fluoridation of public water supplies has found that the levels of fluoridation used in New Zealand create no health risks and provide protection against tooth decay. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Croxley Calls Time On NZ Production In Face Of Cheap Imports

Croxley Stationery, whose stationery brands include Olympic, Warwick and Collins, plans to cease manufacturing in New Zealand because it has struggled to compete with lower-cost imports in a market where the printed word is giving way to electronic communications. More>>

ALSO:

Prefu Roundup: Forecasts Revised, Surplus Intact

The National government heads into the election with its Budget surplus target broadly intact, delivering a set of economic and fiscal forecasts marginally revised from May to reflect weaker commodity prices and a lower tax take. More>>

ALSO:

Convention Centre: Major New SkyCity Hotel And Laneway For Auckland

Today SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited revealed plans to build a new hotel and pedestrian laneway of bars, restaurants and boutique shopping on land it owns in the Nelson and Hobson Streets block, expanding the SKYCITY Entertainment Precinct. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news