Variation in KRTAP6-1 affects wool fibre diameter in New Zealand Romney ewes
Variation in KRTAP6-1 has been reported to affect wool fibre traits in Merino cross-breed sheep and Chinese Tan sheep, but little is known about whether these effects persist in other breeds. In this study, variation in KRTAP6-1 was investigated in 290 New Zealand (NZ) Romney ewes sired by 16 different rams. Polymerase chain reaction single-stranded conformational polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) analysis revealed four variants (A, B, E and F) of KRTAP6-1, and nine genotypes (AA, AB, AE, AF, BB, BE, BF, EE and FF) in these ewes. Among the 243 ewes that had genotypes with a frequency of over 5 % (i.e. AA, AB and BB), the presence of A was found to be associated with reduced mean fibre diameter (MFD) and increased coefficient of variation in fibre diameter (CVFD), whereas the presence of B had a trend of association with decreased coarse edge measurement (CEM). A genotype effect was also detected for MFD and CVFD. No associations were detected for fibre diameter standard deviation (FDSD), mean fibre curvature (MFC) and medulation. These results suggest that variation in KRTAP6-1 affects wool fibre diameter in NZ Romney ewes, confirming the finding in Merino cross-breed sheep.