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Sports 2018, 6(3), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports6030088

The Potential Role of Genetic Markers in Talent Identification and Athlete Assessment in Elite Sport

1
School of Health Sciences, University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle 6160, Australia
2
School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup 6027, Australia
3
Institute for Health Research, University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle 6160, Australia
4
Exercise Medicine Research Institute, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup 6027, Australia
5
Centre for Neuromuscular and Neurological Disorders, University of Western Australia, Nedlands 6009, Australia
6
Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science, Nedlands 6009, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 June 2018 / Revised: 25 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [255 KB, uploaded 30 August 2018]

Abstract

In elite sporting codes, the identification and promotion of future athletes into specialised talent pathways is heavily reliant upon objective physical, technical, and tactical characteristics, in addition to subjective coach assessments. Despite the availability of a plethora of assessments, the dependence on subjective forms of identification remain commonplace in most sporting codes. More recently, genetic markers, including several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), have been correlated with enhanced aerobic capacity, strength, and an overall increase in athletic ability. In this review, we discuss the effects of a number of candidate genes on athletic performance, across single-skilled and multifaceted sporting codes, and propose additional markers for the identification of motor skill acquisition and learning. While displaying some inconsistencies, both the ACE and ACTN3 polymorphisms appear to be more prevalent in strength and endurance sporting teams, and have been found to correlate to physical assessments. More recently, a number of polymorphisms reportedly correlating to athlete performance have gained attention, however inconsistent research design and varying sports make it difficult to ascertain the relevance to the wider sporting population. In elucidating the role of genetic markers in athleticism, existing talent identification protocols may significantly improve—and ultimately enable—targeted resourcing in junior talent pathways. View Full-Text
Keywords: performance; ACE; ACTN3; talent identification; genetic polymorphism performance; ACE; ACTN3; talent identification; genetic polymorphism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Jacob, Y.; Spiteri, T.; Hart, N.H.; Anderton, R.S. The Potential Role of Genetic Markers in Talent Identification and Athlete Assessment in Elite Sport. Sports 2018, 6, 88.

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