ARBA Science Advisory Panel Findings

by Site Admin on January 3, 2017

Below are the findings of the Science Advisory Panel explaining the science behind brown versus black color and how brown could have remained hidden in the Romney population.

As the field of genetics is evolving from studying abstract alleles to knowing the specific DNA code responsible for various differences, breed associations must adapt to this continuously updated knowledge. With the recent advances in genomics, more is being discovered about the sheep genome every day to give us better insight into the DNA changes responsible for the sheep we love. These Romneys are the same as white or black Romneys except for a small piece of DNA out of three billion base pairs. We should not exclude them for registry based only on a single piece that changes their color but does not affect their health, well-being, or attributes that make them strong American Romneys.

Until such time a DNA test for moorit status is available (hopefully in the next few months), the steps for tracking moorit as recommended by the Panel and decided upon by the Board of Directors are the best course of action for the breed and association. Individual breeders can decide if they want to breed with moorit lines or not, very similar to breeders now that choose to breed solely white Romneys or specific breeding lines.

-Chris Posbergh
ARBA President

Final Moorit Romney ARBA document II

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