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A selection signatures study among Middle Eastern and European sheep breeds

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  • Sirous Eydivandi, Islamic Azad University
  • ,
  • Mahmoud Amiri Roudbar, Education & Extension Organization (AREEO)
  • ,
  • Siavash Salek Ardestani, Dalhousie University
  • ,
  • Mehdi Momen, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • ,
  • Goutam Sahana

Selection, both natural and artificial, leaves patterns on the genome during domestication of animals and leads to changes in allele frequencies among populations. Detecting genomic regions influenced by selection in livestock may assist in understanding the processes involved in genome evolution and discovering genomic regions related to traits of economic and ecological interests. In the current study, genetic diversity analyses were conducted on 34,206 quality-filtered SNP positions from 450 individuals in 15 sheep breeds, including six indigenous breeds from the Middle East, namely Iranian Balouchi, Afshari, Moghani, Qezel, Karakas and Norduz, and nine breeds from Europe, namely East Friesian Sheep, Ile de France, Mourerous, Romane, Swiss Mirror, Spaelsau, Suffolk, Comisana and Engadine Red Sheep. The SNP genotype data generated by the Illumina OvineSNP50 Genotyping BeadChip array were used in this analysis. We applied two complementary statistical analyses, FST (fixation index) and xp-EHH (cross-population extended haplotype homozygosity), to detect selection signatures in Middle Eastern and European sheep populations. FST and xp-EHH detected 629 and 256 genes indicating signatures of selection, respectively. Genomic regions identified using FST and xp-EHH contained the CIDEA, HHATL, MGST1, FADS1, RTL1 and DGKG genes, which were reported earlier to influence a number of economic traits. Both FST and xp-EHH approaches identified 60 shared genes as the signatures of selection, including four candidate genes (NT5E, ADA2, C8A and C8B) that were enriched for two significant Gene Ontology (GO) terms associated with the adenosine metabolic procedure. Knowledge about the candidate genomic regions under selective pressure in sheep breeds may facilitate identification of the underlying genes and enhance our understanding on these genes role in local adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Pages (from-to)574-588
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • F test, sheep genome, signatures of selection, xp-EHH test

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