A review on the potential effects of environmental and economic factors on sheep genetic diversity: Consequences of climate change

Wanjala, George, Kusuma, Astuti Putri, Bagi, Zoltán, Kichamu, Nelly, Strausz, Péter and Kusza, Szilvia (2022) A review on the potential effects of environmental and economic factors on sheep genetic diversity: Consequences of climate change. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 30 (1). pp. 1-10. DOI

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Climate change has a significant effect on the productivity of livestock including milk, meat, and reproduction. This could be attributed to the internal diversion of energy resources towards adaptive mechanisms. Among the climate change variables, thermal stress seems to be the major limiting factor in animal agriculture. A better understanding of the effects of climate change-influenced ecological factors on the genetic diversity of livestock species is warranted. Sheep is an ideal livestock species to be used in investigating environmental adaptation due to its wide range of agroecological habitats, genetic and phenotypic variability. There is a heavy reliance on sheep genetic diversity for future animal protein security, but the implications of climate change on their genetic diversity receive less attention. Here, the potential environmental factors influencing natural selection in sheep populations are presented. We argue that prolonged exposure to these factors plays a major role in influencing the development of adaptation traits in indigenous sheep breeds, consequently leading to the alteration of genetic diversity at specific loci. The factors discussed include hot temperatures (heat stress), insufficient water, low quantity and quality of forage, and prevalence of parasites, pests, and diseases. In addition, genetic diversity, some signatures of selection for adaptation and economic angles of selection are also briefly discussed. A better understanding of environmental factors influencing the genetic diversity of sheep populations will inform breeding and management programs and may offer an opportunity for greater production efficiency with low input costs.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:genetic diversity, sheep populations, environmental factors, economic factors, climate change
Subjects:Economic development
ID Code:7946
Deposited By: MTMT SWORD
Deposited On:17 Feb 2023 09:54
Last Modified:17 Feb 2023 09:54

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