Brown coat color, the B Locus, in sheep is known to be recessive to black; however, the potential molecular cause(s) across various breeds have not yet been discovered. Based on evidence from other species, TYRP1 is hypothesized to carry mutations responsible for changes from black to brown pigment in sheep breeds raised for wool. In the present study, we investigated the TYRP1 gene by Sanger sequencing the coding regions across several sheep populations within the United States that contain black and brown individuals. We identified two SNPs associated with brown coat color (chr2:80,608,128G>T and chr2:80,611,700C>T) located within exon 3 and 4, respectively. The exon 3 SNP leads to an amino acid change from cysteine to phenylalanine (C290F) and the exon 4 SNP introduces a premature stop codon in the TYRP1 protein (R356X). These SNPs segregate by breed where R356X is found in Icelandics and Shetlands, C290F is found in Natural Colored Finewool and Finnsheep, and Romeldales and Romneys carry both mutations. The results from this study provide more insight into coat color genetics in sheep and will allow breeders to make more accurate breeding decisions to meet their wool markets. Keywords: Ovis aries; B locus; tyrosinase-related protein 1; wool; black sheep

Christian Posbergh, Heather Huson

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Electronic Poster Session - Species - Ovine, , 175, 2018
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