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Sheep Genomics Program (SheepGenomics) Core Technologies Sub-program

Project start date: 30 July 2008
Project end date: 30 June 2009
Publication date: 30 June 2009
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Sheep, Lamb


The Core Technologies Sub-program (CTS) of the Sheep Genomics Program (SGP) had three objectives:
1. Discovery and delivery of DNA markers from the Falkiner Memorial Field Station (FMFS) project and other mapping resources
2. Provide an integrated bioinformatics/biostatistics resource for use by the entire SGP
3. Develop a suite of leading-edge genomics research tools, funded wherever possible by external funds leveraged via active membership of the International Sheep Genome Consortium (ISGC)
All three of these objectives have been well and truly met.
The immediate practical outcomes of the CTS are DNA markers for breeding programs:a single DNA marker for horns/polled. The SNP is located on chromosome OAR10 at position 30059832. If an individual is homozygous for allele 1 of this SNP there is a 99.8% chance the individual is homozygous for the polled mutation.sets of DNA markers that enable the calculation of Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) for animals (including new-born lambs) that have never been phenotyped, to make selection without phenotyping worthwhile right now for worm egg count, and in the near future for a range of other traits
Even though the SGP has now formally ended, the phenotypic/genotypic resources generated from the FMFS project will remain as an invaluable research resource for many years to come. 

Of even more importance to the industry is the future legacy of a suite of genomics research tools. These include the infrastructure for ongoing provision of bioinformatics services to sheep and practical research tools which include the 50k ovine SNP chip, a draft sheep genome sequence, physical and comparative maps of the sheep genome and other species and beginnings of an understanding of the evolutionary biology of the sheep genome. This information makes it possible for the Sheep CRC to continue the application of high throughput genotyping for estimation of breeding values and will in the longer term make it possible to conduct gene discovery in sheep at a previously unimagined level.