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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Animal Disease Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #396049

Research Project: Identification of Host Factors and Immunopathogenesis of Pneumonia in Domestic and Bighorn Sheep

Location: Animal Disease Research

Title: Estimates of genomic heritability and genome-wide association studies for blood parameters in Akkaraman sheep

item ARZIK, YUNUS - Erciyes University
item KIZILASLAN, MEHMET - Erciyes University
item WHITE, STEPHEN - Former ARS Employee
item Piel, Lindsay
item CINAR, MEHMET - Erciyes University

Submitted to: Scientific Reports
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/21/2022
Publication Date: 11/2/2022
Citation: Arzik, Y., Kizilaslan, M., White, S.N., Piel, L.M., Cinar, M.U. 2022. Estimates of genomic heritability and genome-wide association studies for blood parameters in Akkaraman sheep. Scientific Reports. 12. Article 18477.

Interpretive Summary: Domestication of animals, followed by animal breeding, leads to the selection of genes which allow for better survival or higher productivity. Some of the outcomes of breeding can be readily apparent; for instance higher animal weights, coat colors, or hair texture. However, there can be selection of genes that affect more complex traits like resistance to disease or animal health parameters. Complete blood counts (CBCs) are a measure of general health and represent the first line of testing when an animal is unwell. Breed-specific alterations within CBCs have been identified and are important when discussing animal treatment or diagnosis. Within the present study, 15 blood parameters were measured by completing CBCs on 480 Akkaraman sheep, which are exposed to environmental extremes. Genomic regions suggested to affect tested blood parameters were identified through a genome-wide association study. This led to the identification of 19 genes and 3 undefined regions suggested to affect certain blood parameters. It is important to understand the impact that genetic variation can have on blood profiles as they are a measure of animal health. Furthermore, certain variants may lead to desirable traits for animals raised in particular climates.

Technical Abstract: The aim of the study was to estimate genomic heritabilities and investigate the genetic background of blood parameters by conducting genome-wide association studies in 480 Akkaraman sheep. Genomic heritability estimates for blood parameters were ranged from 0.00 to 0.55, which indicates those phenotypes to have low to moderate heritability. A total of 7 genome- and 13 chromosome-wide significant SNPs were found for 15 blood parameters. Accordingly, SCN7A, SCN9A, MYADM-like, CCDC67, ITGA9, MGAT5, SLC19A1, AMPH, NTRK2, MSRA, SLC35F3, HDAC4, SIRT6, CREB3L3, OSBPL8, ZDHHC17, CSRP2, NAV3 and E2F7 genes as well as three undefined regions -LOC101117887, LOC106991526 and LOC105608461- were suggested as candidates. Top significant SNP for HCT, MCH and MCHC were found within the region mainly populated by MYADM-like gene family. This region was previously suggested to be under historical selection pressure in many sheep breeds from various part of the world. Most of the found genes found were involved in basic biological processes that are essential to immune system and growth, which are cellular transport, histone deacetylation, cell differentiation, erythropoiesis and endocytosis. These results have implication on animal breeding program study concerning genetic background of blood parameters which underlying many productive and wellness related traits.