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Article

Analysis of Whole Genome Resequencing Datasets from a Worldwide Sample of Sheep Breeds to Identify Potential Causal Mutations Influencing Milk Composition Traits

Departamento de Producción Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de León, Campus de Vegazana s/n, 24071 León, Spain
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Animals 2020, 10(9), 1542; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091542
Received: 17 July 2020 / Revised: 21 August 2020 / Accepted: 28 August 2020 / Published: 1 September 2020
Most of the production of sheep’s milk is used in the manufacture of mature cheeses. The milk composition has a strong influence on the technological and organoleptic properties of dairy products. Several genetic polymorphisms have been related to variations of milk protein and milk fatty acid content. The use of whole genome resequencing (WGR) has encouraged the discovery of polymorphisms in the sheep genome. Exploiting information derived from a large number of sheep WGR datasets, this study aimed to evaluate the variability of 24 candidate genes involved in physiological pathways related to milk production. The genetic variants highlighted by this work have a potential influence on the function of the protein encoded by the candidate genes. The relevance of sheep milk composition on the cheese-making industry enhances the potential interest of the present study as the variants highlighted herein could be considered to increase the efficiency of breeding programs currently applied to dairy sheep populations. Further studies would be needed to understand the role of these genetic variants on milk production traits.
Different studies have shown that polymorphisms in the sequence of genes coding for the milk proteins and milk fatty acids are associated with milk composition traits as well as with cheese-making traits. However, the lack of coincident results across sheep populations has prevented the use of this information in sheep breeding programs. The main objective of this study was to exploit the information derived from a total of 175 whole genome resequencing (WGR) datasets from 43 domestic sheep breeds and three wild sheep to evaluate the genetic diversity of 24 candidate genes for milk composition and identify genetic variants with a potential phenotypic effect. The functional annotation of the identified variants highlighted five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) predicted to have a high impact on the protein function and 42 missense SNPs with a putative deleterious effect. When comparing the allelic frequencies at these 47 polymorphisms with relevant functional effects between the genomes of Assaf and Churra sheep breeds, two missense deleterious variants were identified as potential markers associated to the milk composition differences found between the Churra and Assaf: XDH:92215727C>T and LALBA:137390760T>C. Future research is required to confirm the effect of the potential functionally relevant variants identified in the present study on milk composition and cheese-making traits. View Full-Text
Keywords: dairy sheep; milk production; genetic polymorphism; ruminants; whole genome sequence dairy sheep; milk production; genetic polymorphism; ruminants; whole genome sequence
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MDPI and ACS Style

Marina, H.; Gutiérrez-Gil, B.; Esteban-Blanco, C.; Suárez-Vega, A.; Pelayo, R.; Arranz, J.J. Analysis of Whole Genome Resequencing Datasets from a Worldwide Sample of Sheep Breeds to Identify Potential Causal Mutations Influencing Milk Composition Traits. Animals 2020, 10, 1542. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091542

AMA Style

Marina H, Gutiérrez-Gil B, Esteban-Blanco C, Suárez-Vega A, Pelayo R, Arranz JJ. Analysis of Whole Genome Resequencing Datasets from a Worldwide Sample of Sheep Breeds to Identify Potential Causal Mutations Influencing Milk Composition Traits. Animals. 2020; 10(9):1542. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091542

Chicago/Turabian Style

Marina, Héctor, Beatriz Gutiérrez-Gil, Cristina Esteban-Blanco, Aroa Suárez-Vega, Rocío Pelayo, and Juan J. Arranz 2020. "Analysis of Whole Genome Resequencing Datasets from a Worldwide Sample of Sheep Breeds to Identify Potential Causal Mutations Influencing Milk Composition Traits" Animals 10, no. 9: 1542. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091542

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