UPPSALA UNIVERSITY : UCG : Members : Leif Andersson
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Leif Andersson

Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University. Home Page

Research: Farm Animal Genomics

The overall objective of the group is to use a genomics approach to advance our understanding of the genetic basis for phenotypic variation. We are using domestic animals as our model organisms because domestication and animal breeding have caused major changes in many phenotypic traits. This gives a unique opportunity to unravel the genes underlying phenotypic diversity. The possibility to collect or generate very large pedigree materials facilitates very powerful genetic studies. Furthermore, the generation of complete genome sequences for several domestic species (chicken, dog, cattle and pig) now creates an opportunity to fully exploit the power of farm animal genomics.

The research includes genetic studies of both monogenic traits, like inherited disorders and coat colour, and multifactorial traits, like muscle development, fat deposition, fertility and inflammatory disorders. The major research projects involve divergent intercrosses in pig and chicken but we are also doing genetic studies in horses, dogs and cattle. The ultimate goal of the research is to identify the genes and mutations affecting a certain trait and thereafter study the mechanism and biological significance of the findings.

Five Selected Publications

Milan,D., Jeon,J.-T., Looft,C., Amarger,V., Thelander,M., Robic,A., Rogel-Gaillard,C., Paul,S., Iannuccelli,N., Rask,L., Ronne,H., Lundström,K., Reinsch,N., Gellin,J., Kalm,E., Le Roy,P., Chardon,P. and Andersson,L. 2000. A mutation in PRKAG3 associated with excess glycogen content in pig skeletal muscle. Science 288:1248-1251.

Van Laere,A.S., Nguyen,M., Braunschweig,M., Nezer,C., Collette,C., Moreau,L., Archibald,A., Haley,C.S., Buys,N., Tally,M., Andersson,G., Georges,M. and Andersson,L. 2003. A regulatory mutation in IGF2 causes a major QTL effect on muscle growth in the pig. Nature 425:832-836.

Andersson,L. and Georges,M. 2004. Domestic animal genomics: deciphering the genetics of complex traits. Nature Review Genetics 5:202-212.

Keeling,L., Andersson,L., Schütz,K.E., Kerje,S., Fredriksson,R., Carlborg,Ö., Cornwallis,C.K., Pizzari,T., and Jensen,P. 2004. Feather-pecking and victim pigmentation. Nature 431: 645-646.

International Chicken Polymorphism Map Consortium. 2004. A genetic variation map for chicken with 2.8 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Nature 432:717-722.