alexa History of native Welsh sheep breeds uncovered

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History of native Welsh sheep breeds uncovered

Sheep farming is one of the most important areas of Welsh agriculture, contributing around £230 million to the overall UK economy annually, and native Welsh sheep breeds are an invaluable and unique genetic resource for future breeding and conservation programmes. This is the main conclusion of a paper published by BMC Genetics this week by Aberystwyth University's IBERS PhD student Sarah Beynon, Dr Gancho Slavov and Dr Denis Larkin formerly at IBERS now at the Royal Veterinary College in London.The three year research project, sponsored under the Knowledge Economy and Skills Scholarship programme and by Hybu Cig Cymru, has mapped the genetic history of 18 native breeds of Welsh sheep and identified four genetically different subpopulations, with most mountain breeds forming a distinct, relatively similar group. IBERS PhD researcher, Sarah Beynon, who performed the research said: "These findings provide the basis for future genome-wide association studies and a first step towards developing genomics assisted breeding strategies in the UK."

For more details: omicsgroup.org/journals/editorialboard-agrotechnology-open-access.php

 
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