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Whole-genome re-sequencing association study on yearling wool traits in Chinese fine-wool sheep

  • Zhao, Hongchang1
  • Zhu, Shaohua1
  • Guo, Tingting1
  • Han, Mei1
  • Chen, Bowen1
  • Qiao, Guoyan1
  • Wu, Yi1
  • Yuan, Chao1
  • Liu, Jianbin1
  • Lu, Zengkui1
  • Sun, Weibo1
  • Wang, Tianxiang2
  • Li, Fanwen2
  • Zhang, Yajun3
  • Hou, Fujun4
  • Yue, Yaojing1
  • Yang, Bohui1
  • 1 Lanzhou Institute of Husbandry and Pharmaceutical Sciences of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Sheep Breeding Engineering Technology Research Center, Lanzhou, 730050 , (China)
  • 2 Gansu Provincial Sheep Breeding Technology Extension Station, Sunan, 734031 , (China)
  • 3 Xinjiang Gongnaisi Breeding Sheep Farm, Xinyuan, 835808 , (China)
  • 4 Aohan Banner Breeding Sheep Farm, Chifeng, 024300 , (China)
Published Article
Journal of Animal Science
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Jul 13, 2021
DOI: 10.1093/jas/skab210
PMID: 34255028
PMCID: PMC8418636
PubMed Central
  • AcademicSubjects/SCI00960


To investigate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci associated with yearling wool traits of fine-wool sheep for optimizing marker-assisted selection and dissection of the genetic architecture of wool traits, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) based on the fixed and random model circulating probability unification (FarmCPU) for yearling staple length (YSL), yearling mean fiber diameter (YFD), yearling greasy fleece weight (YGFW), and yearling clean fleece rate (YCFR) by using the whole-genome re-sequenced data (totaling 577 sheep) from the following four fine-wool sheep breeds in China: Alpine Merino sheep (AMS), Chinese Merino sheep (CMS), Qinghai fine-wool sheep (QHS), and Aohan fine-wool sheep (AHS). A total of 16 SNPs were detected above the genome-wise significant threshold ( P = 5.45E-09), and 79 SNPs were located above the suggestive significance threshold ( P = 5.00E-07) from the GWAS results. For YFD and YGFW traits, 7 and 9 SNPs reached the genome-wise significance thresholds, whereas 10 and 12 SNPs reached the suggestive significance threshold, respectively. For YSL and YCFR traits, none of the SNPs reached the genome-wise significance thresholds, whereas 57 SNPs exceeded the suggestive significance threshold. We recorded 14 genes located at the region of ±50-kb near the genome-wise significant SNPs and 59 genes located at the region of ±50-kb near the suggestive significant SNPs. Meanwhile, we used the Average Information Restricted Maximum likelihood algorithm (AI-REML) in the “HIBLUP” package to estimate the heritability and variance components of the four desired yearling wool traits. The estimated heritability values ( h 2) of YSL, YFD, YGFW, and YCFR were 0.6208, 0.7460, 0.6758, and 0.5559, respectively. We noted that the genetic parameters in this study can be used for fine-wool sheep breeding. The newly detected significant SNPs and the newly identified candidate genes in this study would enhance our understanding of yearling wool formation, and significant SNPs can be applied to genome selection in fine-wool sheep breeding.

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