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See detailEgg and meat production performances of two varieties of the local Ardennaise poultry breed: silver black and golden black
Moula, Nassim ULg; Michaux, Charles ULg; Philippe, François-Xavier ULg et al

in Animal Genetic Resources = Resources Génétiques Animales = Recursos Genéticos Animales (2013), 53(2), 57-67

The Ardennaise breed is emblematic of the Belgian poultry diversity. We compared two varieties of the breed, the golden black and the silver black. The comparison encompassed: (i) the morphology of adult ... [more ▼]

The Ardennaise breed is emblematic of the Belgian poultry diversity. We compared two varieties of the breed, the golden black and the silver black. The comparison encompassed: (i) the morphology of adult birds, (ii) the growth, carcass characteristics and meat quality of broilers 22 weeks old, (iii) the laying rate during 52 weeks and the egg quality. Significant differences were observed in the size of mature males and females: body weight, diameter and length of the tarsus, size of the comb and wattles. The two varieties did not differ concerning the carcass and meat quality traits. The golden black has a higher laying rate and a higher yolk / albumen ratio, but lays lighter eggs. It could be interesting to complete this study by molecular markers analysis to evaluate the degree of genetic diversity between the two varieties. [less ▲]

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See detailEnvironment factors affecting racing performances of Thoroughbred horses in Algeria
Tennah, Safia ULg; Kafidi, Nacereddine; Antoine-Moussiaux, Nicolas ULg et al

Poster (2013, October 11)

The results of the flat races organized in Algeria from 1995 to 2007 by the Algerian Horse Racing Society were used to estimate non-genetic parameters of racing performances of Thoroughbred horses ... [more ▼]

The results of the flat races organized in Algeria from 1995 to 2007 by the Algerian Horse Racing Society were used to estimate non-genetic parameters of racing performances of Thoroughbred horses. Performances were assessed through two earnings traits (the logarithm of annual virtual earnings: LAEV and the logarithm of average annual virtual earnings per start: LAEV/S) and a normalized ranking (PERF). The phenotypic correlations between these traits were calculated, in order to deduce what is common and what is specific to each measure. The environment factors that were investigated are age (3 to 8 years and older), sex (male or female), year of race (1995 to 2007) and the interactions between these factors. The General Linear Model (GLM) procedure from SAS software was used to identify and quantify the non-genetic factors affecting racing performances. The results showed significantly high positive correlations (p<0.001) between the three traits, hence considered as accounting for similar aptitudes. The effects of age (with a plateau between 4 and 5 years) and year (with an increasing trend for more recent years) turned out to be significant (p<0.001) for the three traits, the sex effect was only significant for the PERF trait (with better performances for males than females) and an interaction between the age and year of the performance was the only significant interaction (p<0.05) for the LAEV trait. The significant effects of these non-genetic factors indicate the need to adjust the earnings and ranks in the context of a program for genetic improvement of Thoroughbred horses in Algeria. [less ▲]

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See detailPedigree analysis in the Arabian horse in Algeria: estimation of inbreeding coefficient
Tennah, Safia ULg; Kafidi, Nacereddine; Antoine-Moussiaux, Nicolas ULg et al

Poster (2013, October 11)

The studbook of the Arabian horse used in this study is recognized by international authorities such as the WAHO (World Arabian Horse Organization). The pedigree file of the horses includes 1812 animals ... [more ▼]

The studbook of the Arabian horse used in this study is recognized by international authorities such as the WAHO (World Arabian Horse Organization). The pedigree file of the horses includes 1812 animals from 166 stallions (with an average of 10.11 ± 17.33 offspring) and 392 mares (with an average of 4.30 ± 3.76 offspring). The maximal pedigree depth was 18 generations. Inbreeding coefficients of horses present in our data were estimated using the software "Pedigree Viewer" and MTDFREML software on the basis of the provided pedigree. The estimation of the inbreeding coefficient for the 1812 horses showed that 1177 animals from all those present in the pedigree were consanguineous, with an inbreeding coefficients varying from 0,00002 to 0,265, with an overall mean of 0,0275 ± 0,001. The average value of the inbreeding coefficient in the population of Arabian horses in Algeria is thus relatively high. It is to be noticed that this average coefficient of inbreeding is less than the threshold established as problematic in the inbreeding literature (6%); however, 13.5% of the total population shows inbreeding coefficients above this threshold. It is therefore important to educate owners-breeders to the problems that consanguinity can generate, and to avoid as much as possible practices that increase inbreeding, such as a too intensive use of a major ancestor, the use of a too small number of breeding animals and the use of crosses between related individuals. All these measures are necessary to prevent rapid inbreeding increase, which would result in a significant loss of genetic diversity, with a medium-term potentially negative effect on racing performances and reproduction. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic parameters of racing performance traits of Arabian horses in Algeria
Tennah, Safia ULg; Kafidi, Nacereddine; Antoine-Moussiaux, Nicolas ULg et al

Poster (2013, October 11)

The data used in the present study were recorded at the Algerian Horse Racing Society for 36492 racing performance of 913 Arabian horses from 1995 to 2007. The aim of the study was to identify the genetic ... [more ▼]

The data used in the present study were recorded at the Algerian Horse Racing Society for 36492 racing performance of 913 Arabian horses from 1995 to 2007. The aim of the study was to identify the genetic parameters underlying three traits: two earnings traits, namely the logarithm of average annual virtual earnings (LAEV) and the logarithm of average annual virtual earnings per start (LAEV/S), and a ranking trait, the normalized ranking (PERF). To identify the fixed effects to be included in the genetic mixed model, a preliminary analysis was conducted using the General Linear Models (GLM) procedure from SAS software. The effects of age, sex, year and the interaction between year of the race and age and between sex and age were included in the model for the three traits. Afterwards, two random effects, a direct genetic effect of the animal and a permanent environmental effect were included in the mixed model. The variance components and genetic parameters were estimated using the restricted maximum likelihood (REML) procedure with the MTDFREML program. The analyses with this repeatable animal model led to the following estimation of the genetic parameters: for LAEV, heritability was 0.225 (±0.041), while estimate of repeatability was 0.330 (±0.040). For LAEV/S, heritability was 0.164 (±0.027), while estimate of repeatability was 0.215 (±0.022). The heritability for the normalized ranking was higher, 0.369 (±0.054), indicating that this trait might provide faster progress for breeding programs of Arabian horses in Algeria. The repeatability estimate for the normalized ranking was 0.587 (±0.045). The genetic correlation between LAEV and LAEV/S was 0.99, revealing a almost complete genetic dependence between these two traits, 0.69 between PERF and LAEV and 0.79 between PERF and LAEV/S. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation morphométrique des chevaux pur-sang Arabe en Algérie: mensurations corporelles et proposition d’équations barymétriques
Tennah, Safia ULg; Kafidi, N; Antoine-Moussiaux, Nicolas ULg et al

Poster (2013, October 11)

Cette étude vise à la caractérisation morphobiométrique des chevaux de course pur-sang arabe et à l’estimation d’équations barymétriques adaptées à cette race. La caractérisation a concerné 98 chevaux ... [more ▼]

Cette étude vise à la caractérisation morphobiométrique des chevaux de course pur-sang arabe et à l’estimation d’équations barymétriques adaptées à cette race. La caractérisation a concerné 98 chevaux, dont 44 femelles et 54 mâles, tous âgés de trois ans et plus, auprès de 77 propriétaires-éleveurs dans 3 hippodromes d’Algérie (Zemmouri, Tiaret et Caroubier). Dix-neuf mensurations étaient relevées ainsi que le poids vif (PV). Le poids moyen est de 456,2 +/- 43,0 kg, variant de 335 kg à 545 kg. La sélection des variables à inclure dans les équations barymétriques a été réalisée à l’aide de la procédure stepwise du SAS. Quatre mensurations parmi les 19 réalisées ont été retenues pour la proposition d’équations d’estimation du poids vif des chevaux : le périmètre thoracique (PT), la hauteur à la croupe (HC), la longueur de l’encolure (LE) et le tour de l’encolure (TE). Ainsi, les équations proposées pour les mâles et pour les femelles sont respectivement de : PV= 7,024*PT - 787,119 (R²=0,99); PV=6,207*PT + 0,633*HC + 0,668*TE - 0,878*LE - 746,370 (R²=0,96). Les résultats de cette étude devraient permettre aux propriétaires-éleveurs et entraineurs de suivre aisément le poids de leurs chevaux. Ce suivi est nécessaire pour adapter l’activité et l’alimentation des chevaux et favoriser leur performance en course. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation of some production parameters in Kabyle local rabbit population
Moula, Nassim ULg; Michaux, Charles ULg; Do Duc, Luc ULg et al

Poster (2013, October 11)

In Algeria, the rabbit production is mainly based on local population to ensure a cheap supply of urban markets proteins. This sector may represent an important source of protein which is in large deficit ... [more ▼]

In Algeria, the rabbit production is mainly based on local population to ensure a cheap supply of urban markets proteins. This sector may represent an important source of protein which is in large deficit in the country. The rabbit production can be justified by its advantages such as short life cycle and high prolificacy. The objective of the present study is to evaluate production performances of Kabyle local rabbit population. Litter size, growth rate, body slaughter weight, feed conversion ratio and mortality rate are considered. The experiment was carried out on 30 animals (6 males and 24 females) for reproduction in the Ath Waghlis region (north-east Algeria). Rabbits have been raised in pens with 1 male and 4 females per pen. The commercial feed was supplied ad libitum to animals. Results reported shown that total number of rabbits born, number born alive, number to weaned, slaughter weight at 84 days of age, feed conversion ratio (from weaning to slaughter) and survival rate (from birth to slaughter) were 7.1, 6.1, 5.3 rabbits, 1.90kg, 3.16 and 73% respectively. The performances of the Kabyle breed could be improved by purebred selection as well as by crossing with exotic breeds. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimation of genetic parameters of racing traits of Arabian horses in Algeria
Tennah, Safia ULg; Kafidi, Nacereddine; Antoine-Moussiaux, Nicolas ULg et al

Poster (2013, August)

The results of the flat races organized in Algeria from 1995 to 2007 by the Algerian Horse Racing Society, were used to estimate genetic parameters of racing performances of Arabian horses. The data ... [more ▼]

The results of the flat races organized in Algeria from 1995 to 2007 by the Algerian Horse Racing Society, were used to estimate genetic parameters of racing performances of Arabian horses. The data consist of 36 492 race records, obtained from 913 horses. The pedigree file of the horses includes 1812 animals from 166 stallions and 392 mares. The analysis was performed on two traits: the logarithm of average annual virtual earnings per start (LAEV/S) and a normalized ranking (PERF). To identify the fixed effects to be included in the genetic model, a preliminary analysis was conducted using the General Linear Models (GLM) procedure from SAS software. The effects of age (3 to 8 years and older), sex (male or female), year (1995 to 2007) and the interaction between year of the race and age and between sex and age were included in the model for both traits. In addition, two random effects, a direct genetic effect of the animal and a permanent environmental effect were included in the mixed model. The variance components and genetic parameters were estimated by the restricted maximum likelihood (REML), procedure using the MTDFREML program. The analysis, using a repeatable animal model, led to the following estimation of genetic parameters: for LAEV/S, heritability was 0.23 (±0.04), while estimate of repeatability was 0.34 (±0.04). The heritability for the normalized ranking was higher, 0.37 (±0.05), indicating that this trait might be more appropriate for breeding programs of Arabian horses in Algeria. The repeatability estimate for the normalized ranking was 0.59 (±0.04) and the genetic correlation between this trait and LAEV/S was 0.79. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic parameters for individual weights at birth, weaning and 60 days of stress negative Piétrain pigs in the tropics: the case of Vietnam
Do Duc, Luc ULg; Michaux, Charles ULg; Dang Vu, Binh et al

Poster (2012, November 28)

Data recorded between 2008 and 2012 from Dong Hiep pig farm, Vietnam, was used to stimate genetic parameters for weights at birth (WB), weaning (WW) and 60 days (W60) of stress negative Piétrain pigs ... [more ▼]

Data recorded between 2008 and 2012 from Dong Hiep pig farm, Vietnam, was used to stimate genetic parameters for weights at birth (WB), weaning (WW) and 60 days (W60) of stress negative Piétrain pigs using restricted maximum likelihood methodology. WB, WW and W60 were recorded from 1146, 839 and 610 animals respectively. The data were analyzed according to a mixed model including 4 fixed effects, parity, season, sex, and interaction between halothane genotype and country of origin (Belgium and Vietnam) of sows. Additionally, 3 random effects (maternal common environment for litter, direct and maternal additive genetic) for WB and 2 random effects (maternal common environment for litter and direct additive genetic) for WW and W60 were included in the model. Estimates of direct heritability and proportion of the maternal common environmental variance for WB, WW and W60 were 0.20, 0.13; 0.22, 0.21 and 0.19, 0.30 respectively. In addition, the estimate of maternal heritability for WB was 0.14. These genetic parameters suggest that WB, WW and W60 could be improved by selection using both direct and maternal effects. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation of the non-genetic factors of the racing performances of Arabian horses in Algeria
Tennah, Safia ULg; Kafidi, Nacerredine; Antoine-Moussiaux, Nicolas ULg et al

Poster (2012, October 19)

Selective breeding of Arabian horses in Algeria is not yet well developped. No accurate estimation of the breeding values of racing horses is carried out untill now. The estimation is based on one or ... [more ▼]

Selective breeding of Arabian horses in Algeria is not yet well developped. No accurate estimation of the breeding values of racing horses is carried out untill now. The estimation is based on one or several measurable traits, linked to race performance. To allow for an accurate estimation, it is important to determine the part of the phenotypic variability that is due to non-genetic factors (environmental). This first study estimates phenotypic correlations between the recorded traits in order to deduce to what extent the different measures bring different information on animal performance. Then it estimates the influence on performance of non-genetic factors such as sex, age, year of performance and the interactions between these various factors. From 1995 to 2007, the data related to flat racing was collected. The General Linear Model was used to identify and quantify the non-genetic factors affecting racing performances. Three traits were used: two earnings traits (the logarithm of annual virtual earnings: LAEV and the logarithm of average annual virtual earnings per start: LAEV/S), and one ranking trait (the ranking transformed and normalised: PERF). Significant high positive correlations was observed between the three traits (p<0.001), which thus give account of similar informative aptitudes. The effects of sex, age, year as well as the interactions between age and sex and between age and year turned out to be significant for the three traits (p<0.05). These results indicate the need to adjust the earnings and ranks traits in order to use them as criteria of selection of racing Arabian horses. [less ▲]

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See detailCaractérisation des performances d’élevage et de production de deux variétés de la race Ardennaise
Moula, Nassim ULg; Michaux, Charles ULg; Philippe, François-Xavier ULg et al

Poster (2012, October 19)

La poule Ardennaise est une race emblématique de la biodiversité avicole belge. Dans un contexte mondial favorable à la conservation des races locales d’animaux domestiques, cette étude est consacrée à la ... [more ▼]

La poule Ardennaise est une race emblématique de la biodiversité avicole belge. Dans un contexte mondial favorable à la conservation des races locales d’animaux domestiques, cette étude est consacrée à la comparaison de deux variétés de la race Ardennaise (Noire dorée et Noire Argentée). La comparaison est réalisée par le biais de trois études: (1) caractérisation morpho-biométrique des deux variétés; (2) caractérisation de la croissance et de la qualité de la carcasse et de la viande; (3) suivi du taux de ponte pendant 52 semaines et l’étude de la qualité des œufs à 30, 45, 60 et 75 semaines d’âge. Des différences significatives ont été enregistrées au niveau des poids corporels, du grand diamètre du tarse, de la longueur du tarse et de la taille de la crête des deux variétés. La variété de la poule Ardennaise n’influence pas significativement les caractères quantitatifs et qualitatifs de production de viande (rendement, poids après abattage, pH, couleur de la viande). Elle influence cependant significativement le poids de l’œuf entier, le poids du blanc, le pourcentage du blanc, le pourcentage du jaune, le rapport jaune/blanc et le pH du blanc (p<0,05). Pour plusieurs caractères morphologiques, d’engraissement et de ponte, les deux variétés ne présentent aucune différence significative. Il serait intéressant de compléter cette étude par une analyse moléculaire permettant de préciser le degré de similitude génétique entre les deux variétés et éventuellement avec les autres variétés de la race. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of non-genetic parameters of the racing performances of Arabian and Thoroughbred horses in Algeria
Tennah, Safia ULg; Kafidi, Nacer; Antoine-Moussiaux, Nicolas ULg et al

in African Journal of Biotechnology (2012)

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See detailCharacterization of the resistance of SJL/J mice to pneumonia virus of mice, a model for infantile bronchiolitis due to a respiratory syncytial virus
Glineur, Stéphanie ULg; bui tran anh, dao; Sarlet, Michaël ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(10), 44581

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a prominent cause of airway morbidity in children, maintains an excessive hospitalization rate despite decades of research. Host factors are assumed to influence the ... [more ▼]

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a prominent cause of airway morbidity in children, maintains an excessive hospitalization rate despite decades of research. Host factors are assumed to influence the disease severity. As a first step toward identifying the underlying resistance mechanisms, we recently showed that inbred mouse strains differ dramatically as regards their susceptibility to pneumonia virus of mice (PVM), the murine counterpart of RSV. PVM infection in mice has been shown to faithfully mimic the severe RSV disease in human infants. This study aimed at dissecting the remarkable PVM-resistance shown by the SJL/J strain. To characterize its genetic component, we assessed clinical, physiopathological, and virological resistance/susceptibility traits in large first (F1) and second (F2) generations obtained by crossing the SJL/J (resistant) and 129/Sv (susceptible) strains. Then, to acquire conclusive in vivo evidence in support of the hypothesis that certain radiosensitive hematopoietic cells might play a significant role in PVM-resistance, we monitored the same resistance/susceptibility traits in mock- and γ-irradiated SJL/J mice. Segregation analysis showed that (i) PVM-resistance is polygenic, (ii) the resistance alleles are recessive, and (iii) all resistance-encoding alleles are concentrated in SJL/J. Furthermore, there was no alteration of SJL/J PVM resistance after immunosuppression by γ-irradiation, which suggests that adaptive immunity is not involved. We conclude that host resistance to pneumoviruses should be amenable to genetic dissection in this mouse model and that radioresistant lung epithelial cells and/or alveolar macrophages may control the clinical severity of pneumovirus-associated lung disease. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection of new biallelic polymorphisms in the human MxA gene
Tran Thi Duc, Tam; Farnir, Frédéric ULg; Michaux, Charles ULg et al

in Molecular Biology Reports (2012), 39(8), 8533-8538

The interferon-inducible human MxA protein plays an important role in innate defense against an array of viruses. One might expect allelic diversity at the MxA locus to influence the timing and magnitude ... [more ▼]

The interferon-inducible human MxA protein plays an important role in innate defense against an array of viruses. One might expect allelic diversity at the MxA locus to influence the timing and magnitude of its expression or even the range of viruses whose biological cycle is inhibited by the encoded product. Here we have collected 267 samples of genomic DNA from three distinct populations (European, Asian, and African) and have systematically sequenced the promoter of the MxA gene and its 17 exons in order to inventory its allelic variants. Fifteen single-nucleotide polymorphisms were detected, four of which had never been identified before. Two of these, located in the promoter (at positions -309 and -101 respectively), might affect the MxA expression pattern. The other two result in substitutions (Gly255Glu and Val268Met) in the protein’s N-terminal region that might directly affect its antiviral function. [less ▲]

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See detailA splice site variant in the bovine RNF11 gene compromises growth and regulation of the inflammatory response.
Sartelet, Arnaud ULg; Druet, Tom ULg; Michaux, Charles ULg et al

in PLoS Genetics (2012), 15(3), 1002581

We herein report association mapping of a locus on bovine chromosome 3 that underlies a Mendelian form of stunted growth in Belgian Blue Cattle. By resequencing positional candidates, we identify the ... [more ▼]

We herein report association mapping of a locus on bovine chromosome 3 that underlies a Mendelian form of stunted growth in Belgian Blue Cattle. By resequencing positional candidates, we identify the causative c124-2A>G splice variant in intron 1 of the RNF11 gene, for which all affected animals are homozygous. We make the remarkable observation that 26% of healthy Belgian Blue animals carry the corresponding variant. We demonstrate in a prospective study design that approximately one third of homozygous mutants die prematurely with major inflammatory lesions, hence explaining the rarity of growth-stunted animals despite the high frequency of carriers. We provide preliminary evidence that heterozygous advantage for an as of yet unidentified phenotype may have caused a selective sweep accounting for the high frequency of the RNF11 c124-2A>G mutation in Belgian Blue Cattle. [less ▲]

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See detailImmune depression of the SJL/J mouse, a radioresistant and immunologically atypical inbred strain.
Glineur, Stéphanie ULg; Antoine-Moussiaux, Nicolas ULg; Michaux, Charles ULg et al

in Immunobiology (2011), 216(1-2), 213-217

As the inbred mouse strain SJL/J displays increased resistance to several pathogens and as its immune system shows multiple specificities, it is tempting to infer a causal link between these observations ... [more ▼]

As the inbred mouse strain SJL/J displays increased resistance to several pathogens and as its immune system shows multiple specificities, it is tempting to infer a causal link between these observations. The first question that comes to mind is whether adaptive immunity plays a role, and a way to answer this question is to see if the resistance phenotype persists when adaptive immunity is depressed. Although it has long been known that irradiation causes repression of leukopoiesis in mice, the technical data available in the literature are of no help in the case of strain SJL/J, because it displays exceptional radioresistance. Here we show that exposure of SJL/J to ∼9Gy, an intensity corresponding to the lethal dose 50 for the species Mus musculus, leads to serious but reversible alteration of leukopoiesis. This conclusion stems from an examination of the effects, 1-11 days post-exposure, of whole-body gamma-ray irradiation on leukocyte populations in the thymus and peripheral blood of young adult females. Immunodepression was most severe 4 days post-exposure. As in other strains, leukocyte populations displayed differential radiosensitivity, B (CD19(+)) cells being most sensitive, T (CD4(+)/CD8(+)) cells moderately sensitive, and natural killer (NK1.1(+)) cells most resistant. Surprisingly, however, the helper/inducer T lymphocytes proved more resistant than the cytotoxic/suppressor T lymphocytes, contrarily to what is observed in other strains. The procedure described will make it possible to refute or establish reliably the existence of causal links between SJL-specific phenotypic traits and immune aberrations and to elucidate further the respective roles of innate and acquired immunity in determining the resistance of this strain to an array of viral diseases. [less ▲]

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See detailBalancing selection of a frame-shift mutation in the MRC2 gene accounts for the outbreak of the Crooked Tail Syndrome in Belgian Blue Cattle.
Fasquelle, Corinne ULg; Sartelet, Arnaud ULg; Li, Wanbo et al

in PLoS Genetics (2009), 5(9), 1000666

We herein describe the positional identification of a 2-bp deletion in the open reading frame of the MRC2 receptor causing the recessive Crooked Tail Syndrome in cattle. The resulting frame-shift reveals ... [more ▼]

We herein describe the positional identification of a 2-bp deletion in the open reading frame of the MRC2 receptor causing the recessive Crooked Tail Syndrome in cattle. The resulting frame-shift reveals a premature stop codon that causes nonsense-mediated decay of the mutant messenger RNA, and the virtual absence of functional Endo180 protein in affected animals. Cases exhibit skeletal anomalies thought to result from impaired extracellular matrix remodeling during ossification, and as of yet unexplained muscular symptoms. We demonstrate that carrier status is very significantly associated with desired characteristics in the general population, including enhanced muscular development, and that the resulting heterozygote advantage caused a selective sweep which explains the unexpectedly high frequency (25%) of carriers in the Belgian Blue Cattle Breed. [less ▲]

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