NSD frontpage

Nordic Gene Bank

Origin and diversity of North European sheep breeds


Map of sheep breeds origin
Genetic analyzes
Relevant links

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 markers.




Published Results



Created by ThEP and EE Edited by Emma Eythorsdottir for the North SheD group.
Agricultural Research Institute of Iceland.