Research project funded by Nordic
Gene Bank, Animals
To provide information for making decisions on the management of genetic resources
and conservation of North-European sheep breeds that are currently bred
in the Nordic countries and neighboring regions. This will be achieved
by collecting and analyzing data on both cultural history and background
of the breeds as well as obtaining information on genetic profiles of
the breed using both visible traits and microsatellite markers.
The project involves sampling and analysis of genetic markers of a total
of 33 sheep populations in the five Nordic countries and surrounding regions,
including Greenland, the Faeroe Islands, and the three Baltic countries.
The project will be co-ordinated with already existing projects on sheep
diversity in Norway and Finland. Blood samples from 30 animals from each
group (20 females and 10 males) will be collected and background information
on both the breed and individual animals will be recorded according to
guidelines from FAO. DNA will be extracted from blood and genotyped for
25 microsatellite markers that will be selected from a list of markers
recommended by FAO. Mitochondria DNA will be analysed from a subset of
animals from each group.
Genotypes will be recorded and allele frequencies estimated at each locus.
The overall results will be analysed with statistical methods designed
for estimation of genetic distances on the basis of variation of molecular