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 Researchers discover a new link to fight billion-dollar threat to soybean production
14.02.2017 | University of Missouri-Columbia

nachricht Important to maintain a diversity of habitats in the sea
14.02.2017 | University of Gothenburg

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Start codons in DNA may be more numerous than previously thought

21.02.2017 | Life Sciences

An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever

21.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Warming ponds could accelerate climate change

21.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>