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 Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge

nachricht Unusual soybean coloration sheds a light on gene silencing
20.06.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>