Tropical Small Ruminant Genomics
We have sequenced the genomes of hundreds of sheep and goats from tropical environments
The Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health supports programs that improve livestock-based livelihoods in the tropics. Within CTLGH we are working on improving the genetic resources available for small ruminants, which represent a key route out of poverty in emerging economies, particularly for women.
Through funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund we have sequenced the genomes of 178 tropically adapted sheep and 266 goats.
To analyse these Illumina genomes, and provide resources for the sheep and goat genomics communities, we are working with several international consortia including:
- The African Goat Improvement Network (AGIN)
- VarGoats Project
- Sheep Genomes Database
- International Sheep Genomics Consortium
- International Goat Genomics Consortium
Our aim is to investigate signatures of selection for adaptation to a tropical environment and to identify a common set of loci related to key traits, including fecundity, feed efficiency and disease tolerance.
Using this information, we will develop new technologies for genotyping and phenotyping small ruminants in tropical farming systems.
These resources can then be used to establish and improve sustainable community-based breeding programs in parallel with appropriate communities of practice.