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      Adaptations to Climate-Mediated Selective Pressures in Sheep

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          Following domestication, sheep ( Ovis aries) have become essential farmed animals across the world through adaptation to a diverse range of environments and varied production systems. Climate-mediated selective pressure has shaped phenotypic variation and has left genetic “footprints” in the genome of breeds raised in different agroecological zones. Unlike numerous studies that have searched for evidence of selection using only population genetics data, here, we conducted an integrated coanalysis of environmental data with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variation. By examining 49,034 SNPs from 32 old, autochthonous sheep breeds that are adapted to a spectrum of different regional climates, we identified 230 SNPs with evidence for selection that is likely due to climate-mediated pressure. Among them, 189 (82%) showed significant correlation ( P ≤ 0.05) between allele frequency and climatic variables in a larger set of native populations from a worldwide range of geographic areas and climates. Gene ontology analysis of genes colocated with significant SNPs identified 17 candidates related to GTPase regulator and peptide receptor activities in the biological processes of energy metabolism and endocrine and autoimmune regulation. We also observed high linkage disequilibrium and significant extended haplotype homozygosity for the core haplotype TBC1D12-CH1 of TBC1D12. The global frequency distribution of the core haplotype and allele OAR22_18929579-A showed an apparent geographic pattern and significant ( P ≤ 0.05) correlations with climatic variation. Our results imply that adaptations to local climates have shaped the spatial distribution of some variants that are candidates to underpin adaptive variation in sheep.

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          PLINK: a tool set for whole-genome association and population-based linkage analyses.

          Whole-genome association studies (WGAS) bring new computational, as well as analytic, challenges to researchers. Many existing genetic-analysis tools are not designed to handle such large data sets in a convenient manner and do not necessarily exploit the new opportunities that whole-genome data bring. To address these issues, we developed PLINK, an open-source C/C++ WGAS tool set. With PLINK, large data sets comprising hundreds of thousands of markers genotyped for thousands of individuals can be rapidly manipulated and analyzed in their entirety. As well as providing tools to make the basic analytic steps computationally efficient, PLINK also supports some novel approaches to whole-genome data that take advantage of whole-genome coverage. We introduce PLINK and describe the five main domains of function: data management, summary statistics, population stratification, association analysis, and identity-by-descent estimation. In particular, we focus on the estimation and use of identity-by-state and identity-by-descent information in the context of population-based whole-genome studies. This information can be used to detect and correct for population stratification and to identify extended chromosomal segments that are shared identical by descent between very distantly related individuals. Analysis of the patterns of segmental sharing has the potential to map disease loci that contain multiple rare variants in a population-based linkage analysis.
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            Inference of population structure using multilocus genotype data.

            We describe a model-based clustering method for using multilocus genotype data to infer population structure and assign individuals to populations. We assume a model in which there are K populations (where K may be unknown), each of which is characterized by a set of allele frequencies at each locus. Individuals in the sample are assigned (probabilistically) to populations, or jointly to two or more populations if their genotypes indicate that they are admixed. Our model does not assume a particular mutation process, and it can be applied to most of the commonly used genetic markers, provided that they are not closely linked. Applications of our method include demonstrating the presence of population structure, assigning individuals to populations, studying hybrid zones, and identifying migrants and admixed individuals. We show that the method can produce highly accurate assignments using modest numbers of loci-e.g. , seven microsatellite loci in an example using genotype data from an endangered bird species. The software used for this article is available from approximately pritch/home. html.
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              Bioinformatics enrichment tools: paths toward the comprehensive functional analysis of large gene lists

              Functional analysis of large gene lists, derived in most cases from emerging high-throughput genomic, proteomic and bioinformatics scanning approaches, is still a challenging and daunting task. The gene-annotation enrichment analysis is a promising high-throughput strategy that increases the likelihood for investigators to identify biological processes most pertinent to their study. Approximately 68 bioinformatics enrichment tools that are currently available in the community are collected in this survey. Tools are uniquely categorized into three major classes, according to their underlying enrichment algorithms. The comprehensive collections, unique tool classifications and associated questions/issues will provide a more comprehensive and up-to-date view regarding the advantages, pitfalls and recent trends in a simpler tool-class level rather than by a tool-by-tool approach. Thus, the survey will help tool designers/developers and experienced end users understand the underlying algorithms and pertinent details of particular tool categories/tools, enabling them to make the best choices for their particular research interests.

                Author and article information

                1CAS Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, China
                2Laboratory of Geographic Information Systems (LASIG), School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
                3Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt,
                4Biotechnology and Food Research, MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Jokioinen, Finland
                5Department of Biology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
                6Istituto di Zootecnica, Facoltà di Agraria, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza, Italy
                7Biodiversity and Ancient DNA Research Center—BioDNA, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza, Italy
                8CSIRO Livestock Industries, St Lucia, Brisbane, Qld, Australia
                Author notes
                *Corresponding author: E-mail: .

                Associate editor: Yuseob Kim

                Mol Biol Evol
                Mol. Biol. Evol
                Molecular Biology and Evolution
                Oxford University Press
                December 2014
                23 September 2014
                23 September 2014
                : 31
                : 12
                : 3324-3343
                © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact

                Pages: 20


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