Design and characterization of a high-resolution multiple-SNP capture array by target sequencing for sheep


The efficiency of molecular breeding largely depends on inexpensive genotyping arrays. In this study, we aimed to develop an ovine high-resolution multiple-single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) capture array, based on genotyping by target sequencing (GBTS) system with capture-in-solution (liquid chip) technology. All the markers were from 40K captured regions, including genes located within selective sweep regions, breed-specific regions, quantitative trait loci (QTL), and the potential functional SNPs on the sheep genome. The results showed that a total of 210K high-quality SNPs were identified in the 40K regions, indicating a high average capture ratio (99.7%) for the target genomic regions. Using genotyped data (n = 317) from liquid chip technology, we further performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to detect the genetic loci affecting sheep hair types and teat number. A single significant association signal for hair types was identified on 6.7-7.1 Mb of chromosome 25. The IRF2BP2 gene (chr25: 7,067,974-7,071,785), which is located within this genomic region, has been previously known to be involved in hair/wool traits in sheep. The results further showed a new candidate region around 26.4 Mb of chromosome 13, between the ARHGAP21 and KIAA1217 genes, that was significantly related to teat number in sheep. The haplotype patterns of this region also showed differences in animals with 2, 3, or 4 teats. Advances in using the high-accuracy and low-cost liquid chip are expected to accelerate sheep genomic and breeding studies in the coming years.

Publication Title

Journal of Animal Science