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3SR – Activity Year 2 (1 May 2011 – 30 April 2012)

Summary of work

During this period, the 3SR project successfully underwent its first official review. Good progress was confirmed.

Data collection, including DNA and phenotypes from the wide range of breeds in the project was completed during the second year of the 3SR project.

QTL detection with the 50K SNP array has progressed and practically been completed in the sheep breeds Churra, Lacaune, Sarda x Lacaune backcross, Scottish Blackface, Blackbelly and Romane, and the goat breeds Apline, Saanen and Creole. A number of putative QTL were identified that may affect mastitis resistance (~30), nematode parasite resistance (~30) and paratuberculosis (~40). Furthermore, two major genes affecting ovulation rate were also detected. This information has been made available to the international sheep genome consortium for the improvement of the genome assembly.

Following up on the above, the primary focus of the ensuing work will be on those regions with the greatest probable effect that are present in at least two populations.

Furthermore, an in-vitro challenge with Staphylococcus aureus of blood cells from Lacaune sheep of contrasted genotypes at a locus believed to affect resistance to mastitis was performed. Blackface sheep with contrasting nematode resistance phenotypes and genotypes were also examined. Experiments are in progress to measure gene expression profiling in these samples.

Fine mapping and target genotyping with small validation arrays are the next steps in the project. Further, 3SR is aiming to make a large contribution to the international sheep genome sequencing strategy. This will include both DNA sequencing, in which whole- genome sequencing of family trios informative for QTL of interest is underway, and in-depth RNA sequencing of multiple tissues of Texel sheep, to provide the data necessary for improved genome annotation.


26-27 May 2011, Consortium & Board Meeting, Lodi, Italy
12-13 October 2011, WP2 Technical Meeting, Toulouse, France
15-16 November 2011, Consortium & Board Meeting, Edinburgh, UK
16 March 12, Board Meeting, Teleconference
26-27 March 2012, Mid-term Review Meeting, Brussels, Belgium

Dissemination events

The project featured in the following events that took place during this period:
•    Meetings of the BKTN Animal Sector (advisory) Group –which consist of 25 industrial and academic representatives from the UK animals sector.
•    Periodic meetings with representatives of Italian sheep breeders associations to share the findings of the project and plan its exploitation.
•    Meeting with Meat Promotion Wales (Sheep and Beef Cattle Levy Board in Wales).
•    Meeting with Innovis (Sheep Breeding company).
•    Seminar at University of Aberystwyth, UK.



  This website represents the views of the Authors, not the EC. The EC is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained herein. 3SR is a Collaborative Project funded under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7).