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Evolutionary implications of haemoglobin polymorphism in domesticated and wild sheep



Evolutionary implications of haemoglobin polymorphism in domesticated and wild sheep



Small Ruminant Research 4(4): 315-322



The distribution of haemoglobin polymorphism was investigated in 11 breeds of domesticated and three genetic groups of wild sheep in the USA. Hb.beta.B was more frequent than Hb.beta.A in most of the domesticated breeds with a pooled frequency of 0.71. The Hb.beta.B gene frequencies were: 0.95 (Barbados), 4.5 (Booroola), 0.77 (Columbia), 0.40 (Finnsheep), 0.87 (Hampshire), 0.88 (Karakul), 0.98 (Rambouillet flock 1), 0.93 (Rambouillet flock 2), 0.12 (Romanov), 0.50 (St. Croix flock 1), 0.63 (St. Croix flock 2), 1.00 (Suffolk flock 1), 0.86 (Suffolk flock 2) and 0.86 (Targhee). All the wild sheep tested [Argali .times. European Mouflon cross (Ovis ammon .times. Ovis musimon), Asiatic Mouflon .times. European Mouflon cross (Ovis orientalis .times. Ovis musimon) and Desert Bighorn (Ovis canadensis)] were monomorphic for Hb.beta.B. The monomorphism of Hb.beta.B of wild sheep and the higher frequency of Hb.beta.B than Hb.beta.A in domesticated sheep indicates that Hb.beta.A probably occurred after sheep were domesticated. The wide variation in haemoglobin polymorphism within and between breeds may have resulted from a combination of genetic drift and selection.

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Accession: 002104029

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DOI: 10.1016/0921-4488(91)90078-5


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