McNair Symposium

2023 McNair Research Symposium

Sarina Garza

Exploring Genotypes of Black and Brown Spotting in Dorper Sheep

Dorper sheep are a hair-type breed adapted to the heat and have two color phenotypes: a white body with a black head or a white body with a white head. However, there is variation in the amount of black found in Dorper sheep coats, indicating breeders can make genetic selection decisions on hair color to meet market demand. The purpose of this study was to identify mutations associated with colored spotting in Dorper sheep at Texas A&M University – Kingsville. We sampled 60 Dorper Sheep (55 females and 5 males) by recording 360-degree view photos of the sheep’s body to quantify the amount of black and brown spots. DNA was extracted from blood to be used in a candidate gene study. The candidate genes targeted included melanocortin one receptor (MC1R) and tyrosinase – related protein 1 signaling protein (TYRP1) using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) test. Gimp 2.0 software was used to quantify the amount of coat color. Out of the 60 sheep that were sampled, 22 have a full white coat, 17 have spots, 12 have specks, and 9 have brown spots. Genotyping analysis is currently underway.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Elizabeth Staiger

Department of Animal Science & Veterinary Technology 

Sarina Garza's poster

Sarina Garza