Genetically suppressing pigmented fibres
Breeders of wool sheep select against the presence of pigmented fibres. However, the complex nature and incomplete action of the genes that control pigmentation means that selecting against pigmentation requires repeated selection effort, consequently reducing the selection emphasis given to production and quality traits.
This project adopts an alternative approach to controlling wool pigmentation faults by targeting albinism in Suffolk sheep. Albino Suffolk sheep appear to be equally fit as individuals with a normal Suffolk phenotype. It is argued that identifying genes for albinism in Suffolk sheep would provide a way of detecting the same condition in Merino sheep and utilise it for breeding white-wooled Merinos.
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