Project Number: 1245-32000-093-00
Start Date: Oct 11, 2011
End Date: Oct 10, 2016
The project will focus on using integrated approaches to develop genomic tools in ruminants and information to better understand how to implement selection for parasite tolerance while also increasing meat and milk production. The studies will attempt to better understand livestock biology of parasite resistance through a combination of quantitative genetics, marker-assisted selection, genome annotation, and gene expression analyses. First, studies will focus on the development of genomic tools for small ruminants to study structural and functional genetic variation, including the construction of a de novo goat reference genome assembly and identification of approximately 45 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) to facilitate genetic analysis. Additionally, the project will use combined linkage and linkage disequilibrium (LD) mapping in small ruminant resource populations to identify previously unidentified genes and QTL for parasite tolerance. Finally, efforts will be made to investigate the ruminant host transcriptome and immune responses to identify similarities and differences in host immunity, growth characteristics and nutrient utilization in response to parasitic infection across ruminants.