Open Access
Genet. Sel. Evol.
Volume 40, Number 5, September-October 2008
Page(s) 553 - 561
Published online 12 August 2008
Genet. Sel. Evol. 40 (2008) 553-561
DOI: 10.1051/gse:2008021

Prion gene (PRNP) haplotype variation in United States goat breeds (Open Access publication)

Stephen White1, 2, Lynn Herrmann-Hoesing1, 2, Katherine O'rourke1, 2, Daniel Waldron3, Joan Rowe4 and Janet Alverson1, 2

1  USDA, ARS, Animal Disease Research Unit, Pullman, WA 99164, USA
2  Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA
3  Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, San Angelo, TX 76901, USA
4  School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA

Received 31 October 2007; accepted 13 May 2008; published online 12 August 2008

Abstract - Scrapie eradication efforts cost 18 million dollars annually in the United States and rely heavily upon PRNP genotyping of sheep. Genetic resistance might reduce goat scrapie and limit the risk of goats serving as a scrapie reservoir, so PRNP coding sequences were examined from 446 goats of 10 breeds, 8 of which had not been previously examined at PRNP. The 10 observed alleles were all related to one of two central haplotypes by a single amino acid substitution. At least five of these alleles (M142, R143, S146, H154, and K222) have been associated with increased incubation time or decreased odds of scrapie. To the best of our knowledge, neither S146 nor K222 has been found in any goats with scrapie, though further evaluation will be required to demonstrate true resistance. S146 was more common, present in several breeds at widely varying frequencies, while K222 was observed only in two dairy breeds at low frequency. Overall, this study provides frequency data on PRNP alleles in US goats, shows the pattern of relationships between haplotypes, and demonstrates segregation of multiple scrapieassociated alleles in several breeds not examined before at PRNP.

Key words: scrapie / goat / polymorphism / resistance / prion

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2008