Genetic resistance to a parasitic nematode that infects sheep has been discovered by a team of scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya. The researchers are the first to detect genetic locations on chromosomes, for resistance to gastrointestinal nematode parasites in a double-backcross population derived from African native sheep. The parasites, common in tropical regions, cause significant economic and production losses in Africa each year.
The researchers are now working to identify genes that increase tolerance to parasites and improve production of grazing animals. Future studies will focus on genotyping the animals.