The detection of a major gene for fecundity in Icelandic sheep (Jonmundsson and Adals t e i n s s o n , 1983) has revealed a potentially valuable source of increased prolificacy. This discovery in a dual purpose breed makes the Thoka gene more immediately useful than that of other major genes in other breeds, such as the Booroola gene in Merinos. The benefits of using rams homozygous for the gene to sire more prolific daughters has been demonstrated by Adalsteinsson et al , (1989). The present report describes preliminary experiments with the introduction of the gene to some British breeds.

J. WB King, A. JF Russel, B. T Wolf, N. FG Beck

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XV. Beef cattle, sheep and pig genetics and breeding, fibre, fur and meat quality., , 123–126, 1990
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