Mapping of quantitative trait loci for growth and carcass traits in commercial sheep populations

GA Walling, PM Visscher, AD Wilson, BL McTeir, Geoff Simm, SC Bishop*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quantitative trait loci analyses were applied to data from Suffolk and Texel commercial sheep flocks in the United Kingdom. The populations comprised 489 Suffolk animals in three half-sib families and 903 Texel animals in nine half-sib families. Phenotypic data comprised measurements of live weight at 8 and 20 wk of age and ultrasonically measured fat and muscle depth at 20 wk. Lambs and their sires were genotyped across candidate regions on chromosomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 18, and 20. Data were analyzed at the breed level, at the family level, and across extended families when families were genetically related. The breed-level analyses revealed a suggestive QTL on chromosome 1 in the Suffolk breed, between markers BM8246 and McM130, affecting muscle depth, although the effect was only significant in one of the three Suffolk families. A two-QTL analysis suggested that this effect may be due to two adjacent QTL acting in coupling. In total, 24 suggestive QTL were identified from individual family analyses. The most significant QTL affected fat depth and was segregating in a Texel family on chromosome 2, with an effect of 0.62 mm. The QTL was located around marker ILSTS030, 26 cM distal to myostatin. Two of the Suffolk and two of the Texel sires were related, and a three-generation analysis was applied across these two extended families. Seven suggestive QTL were identified in this analysis, including one that had not been detected in the individual family analysis. The most significant QTL, which affected muscle depth, was located on chromosome 18 near the callipyge and Carwell loci. Based on the pheno-typic effect and location of the QTL, the data suggest that a locus similar to the Carwell locus may be segregating in the United Kingdom Texel population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2234-2245
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • fat
  • genome
  • growth
  • muscle
  • Suffolk
  • Texel
  • QTL
  • MAPS


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