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Joint Sheep Gene Studies

New Zealand Minister of Research, and Science & Technology announced on April 17, 2008

in Beijing that three universities, including Massey University, Peking University, and

Shihezi University will work together to identify genetic markers relating to sheep's

unseasonal reproduction. New Zealand hopes to enhance its sheep reproduction activities

using the genetic markers found in Chinese sheep, boosting the economic benefits of sheep

reproduction system. New Zealand has more than 40 million sheep in stock. Unfortunately,

its sheep present narrow genetic lines, as most sheep bred in the country are originated

from Europe. Sheep bred in the middle part of Asia have unveiled more diversity in genes.

According to an accord, a sheep reproduction center will be established before 2015 at

Shihezi University in Xinjiang, mainly working on genetic markers. Shihezi University will

send its researchers to work on doctoral study of genetic markers at Massey University.

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