Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dissertation study found new spread route - Sheep came to northern Europe via Russia as well

30.10.2006
Sheep-breeding originated in the Middle East approximately 10,000 years ago and reached the outskirts of northern Europe 4,000 years later. The spread routes of sheep to the North via the Atlantic coastline and the valley of the river Danube described in earlier studies are being complemented by new research results: the Doctoral Thesis of MTT Agrifood Research Finland researcher Miika Tapio indicates that sheep also came to northern Europe straight through Russia via the central regions along the Volga river.

In his thesis from the field of population genetics Miika Tapio used molecular markers to study the gene pools of sheep in the Nordic countries, Russia and the Baltics, and studied the variation of mitochondrial DNA in Eurasian sheep.

He analysed 37 northern European sheep breeds by using gene markers inherited from both parents (microsatellites, blood proteins). Tapio examined mitochondrial DNA inherited from only the dam in 76 breeds in an area spanning from northern Europe to the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Among other things, the thesis presents a previously undiscovered fourth line of domestic sheep dams that was found in the Caucasus.

The study showed that variation between breeds was clearly greater than typically found in European sheep.

- For example, Finnsheep and Romanov sheep are very different from each other although they are thought to be related, Tapio explains.

Variation between long- and short-tailed sheep was also discovered on the basis of gene markers, but the classification into breed groups only explains a small share of the differences between breeds, as the differences are significant even within breed groups. Gene markers inherited from both parents linked together the breeds that are from adjacent areas.

Diversification of landraces speaks in favour of protection

Northern European native breeds differ from multinational sheep breeds in many ways, forming an important gene pool. So far many native breeds are also less inbred.

- Diversification speaks in favour of keeping the breeds separated in the future as well, Tapio points out.

Northern European landraces are becoming increasingly rare as agricultural production mainly utilises completely different species or multinational sheep breeds.

- Many landraces, such as Finnish Grey landrace, have recently witnessed a significant population decline. The first measures in maintaining sheep gene pools are monitoring the number of animals and avoiding inbreeding with the help of extensive animal registers, Tapio says.

The study determined the protection values of breeds by simultaneously using both within-breed and inter-breed diversity. 19 breeds were assessed to be above others in importance, seven of which are endangered native breeds: Estonian Ruhnu sheep, Finnish Grey landrace, Norwegian Old Spael sheep, Norwegian Grey Troender sheep, Russian Viena sheep, Swedish Dala fur sheep and Swedish Roslag sheep.

Miika Tapio's Doctoral Dissertation "Origin and maintenance of genetic diversity in northern European sheep" shall be examined at the Faculty of Science of the University of Oulu at 12 o'clock on 10.11.2006. The opponent is Dr Michael W. Bruford from the Cardiff School of Biosciences and the custodian is Professor Outi Savolainen from the University of Oulu.

Ulla Jauhiainen | alfa
Further information:
http://herkules.oulu.fi/isbn9514282353/
http://www.mtt.fi

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
11.05.2017 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht Elephant Herpes: Super-Shedders Endanger Young Animals
04.05.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A CLOUD of possibilities: Finding new therapies by combining drugs

24.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Carcinogenic soot particles from GDI engines

24.05.2017 | Life Sciences

A quantum walk of photons

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>