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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.

Project date

29 May 2019-30 Jun 2019

Principal investigator

Forbes Brien

Research organisation

The University of Adelaide (UA)

Project led by

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI)

Australian Wool Innovation is a not-for-profit enterprise that conducts research, development and marketing along the worldwide supply chain for Australian …

  • Location


Logo for Australian Wool Innovation (AWI)


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