The importance of sheep’s wool in making textiles has inspired extensive research into its structure and the underlying genetics since the 1960s. Wool keratin-associated proteins (KAPs) are a key structural component of the wool fibre. The characterisation of the genes encoding these proteins has progressed rapidly with advances in the nucleotide and protein sequencing. This review describes our knowledge of ovine KAPs, their categorisation into families, polymorphism in the proteins and genes, the clustering and chromosomal location of the genes, some characteristics of gene expression and some potential effects of the KAPs on wool traits. The extent and nature of genetic variation in wool KAP genes and its association with fibre characteristics, provides an opportunity for the development of gene-markers for selective breeding of sheep to produce better wool with properties highly matched to specific end-uses.
Gong, H., Zhou, H., Forrest, R. H. J., Li, S., Wang, J., Dyer, J. M., … Hickford, J. G. H. (2016, June 1). Wool keratin-associated protein genes in sheep—A review. Genes. MDPI AG. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes7060024