Gene found for big, firm sheep rumps | Science News

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Gene found for big, firm sheep rumps

12:47pm, October 1, 2002

Scientists have found the gene that gives some sheep unusually big, muscular bottoms.

Sheep bearing one gene variant, dubbed callipyge (from the Greek for shapely buttocks), convert food into muscle 30 percent more efficiently than usual, report scientists at the Agricultural Research Service in Clay Center, Neb., and at Duke University in Durham, N.C. The gene may inspire insights into fat metabolism and muscle formation, he says.

For a decade, scientists have been searching for a genetic explanation of the unusually meaty posteriors of certain sheep. The newly found gene was elusive. Although a copy is inherited from each parent, only the dad's version ends up being active. Moreover, the sheep only develops the c

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