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Open AccessReview

Wool Keratin-Associated Protein Genes in Sheep—A Review

1
International Wool Research Institute, Faculty of Animal Science and Technology, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
2
Gene-marker Laboratory, Faculty of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647, New Zealand
3
Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, Eastern Institute of Technology, Private Bag 1201, Napier 4142, New Zealand
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Food & Bio-Based Products, Lincoln Research Centre, AgResearch Limited, Lincoln 7608, New Zealand
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: J. Peter W. Young
Genes 2016, 7(6), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes7060024
Received: 24 February 2016 / Revised: 3 May 2016 / Accepted: 25 May 2016 / Published: 28 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics)
The importance of sheep’s wool in making textiles has inspired extensive research into its structure and the underlying genetics since the 1960s. Wool keratin-associated proteins (KAPs) are a key structural component of the wool fibre. The characterisation of the genes encoding these proteins has progressed rapidly with advances in the nucleotide and protein sequencing. This review describes our knowledge of ovine KAPs, their categorisation into families, polymorphism in the proteins and genes, the clustering and chromosomal location of the genes, some characteristics of gene expression and some potential effects of the KAPs on wool traits. The extent and nature of genetic variation in wool KAP genes and its association with fibre characteristics, provides an opportunity for the development of gene-markers for selective breeding of sheep to produce better wool with properties highly matched to specific end-uses. View Full-Text
Keywords: Keratin-associated protein (KAP); polymorphism; expression; wool fibre; wool traits; sheep Keratin-associated protein (KAP); polymorphism; expression; wool fibre; wool traits; sheep
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gong, H.; Zhou, H.; Forrest, R.H.J.; Li, S.; Wang, J.; Dyer, J.M.; Luo, Y.; Hickford, J.G.H. Wool Keratin-Associated Protein Genes in Sheep—A Review. Genes 2016, 7, 24.

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