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.
New data unearths pesticide peril in beehives
21.04.2017 | Cornell University
New rice fights off drought
04.04.2017 | RIKEN
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
24.04.2017 | Trade Fair News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine