Determining the relationship between restorative potential and size of a gene bank to alleviate the risks inherent in a scrapie eradication breeding programme

T. Roughsedge, B. Villanueva, John Woolliams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Breeding plans are being adopted in many countries to eradicate scrapie from the sheep populations. The European plans are based on selection for increased frequency of the resistant ARR haplotype and removal of the most scrapie susceptible haplotype (VRQ). This approach of a genotype eradication breeding programme incurs a number of risks including those associated with novel spongiform encephalopathy causing agents that are as yet unknown, but may emerge in the future and the possible loss of favourable attributes of a breed either through linkage or pleiotropic effects when selecting on a specific haplotype. Semen gene banks have been proposed to provide the potential for future reintroduction of removed haplotypes. Computer simulations were run for hill, crossing and terminal breed types to investigate the restorative potential of a gene bank required for the reintroduction of an alternative haplotype in the future. Differences existed in the restorative potential between the different breed types considered. This was largely dictated by variable levels of fertility, litter size, survival and mating ratio. It was shown that terminal breeds would require two and a half times as many semen straws as hill breeds to produce the same frequency of ewes homozygous for the desired haplotype in the population after a ten year reintroduction period. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)231-241
Number of pages11
JournalLivestock Science
Volume100
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • scrapie gene bank genotype eradication national scrapie plan prion protein genotype natural scrapie prp genotypes performance traits sheep association identification resistance flock bse

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