Interpretive Summary: A highly polymorphic caprine keratin-associated protein gene identified and its effect on cashmere traits
Written by Anne Zinn
Cashmere fiber is a main product of cashmere goats that is produced by secondary hair follicles, and, like wool, the cashmere fiber is composed of hair-keratins and keratin-associated proteins. These keratin-associated proteins serve as a matrix that cross-links hair-keratins and are therefore believed to play an important role in defining the physical and mechanical properties of the fiber. Five keratin-associated protein 6 genes (KRTAP6-5) have been identified in sheep and some variations have been associated with wool fiber diameter-related traits, but none of these homologues have been identified in goats. Given the potential effect of KRTAP6 on wool traits, investigation is needed to identify KRTAP6-n in goats and to determine whether variation in KRTAP6s affects cashmere traits. Therefore, a paper recently published in the Journal of Animal Science attempted to identify the caprine KRTAP6-5 to search for potential variation in the gene and to investigate its effect on cashmere fleece traits.
Efforts of this research reported the identification of the sheep KRTAP6-5 homologue on goat chromosome 1 and PCR-single strand conformation polymorphism analysis in 300 Longdong cashmere goats revealed the existence of 12 variant sequences. Variation in goat KRTAP6-5 was found to be associated with variation in mean-fiber diameter, suggesting that KRTAP6-5 is worthy of further study in the context of variation in cashmere traits.
The full paper can be found on the Journal of Animal Science webpage.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.
International Goat Association
12709 Grassy Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas 72210 USA