Gene Discovery Leads to New OPP Test
June 21, 2013

A new test is available to help sheep producers identify animals at high risk for ovine progressive pneumonia (OPP), thanks to U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. 
 
Scientists at the research center in Clay Center, Neb., found that the gene TMEM154 affects susceptibility to OPP virus infection in sheep. Working with researchers at other ARS laboratories and a commercial company, they developed a commercially available genetic test. 
 
Producers can use the test to detect sheep that are genetically less susceptible to the OPP virus, decrease the risk of animals becoming infected and select breeding stock with low-risk genetic factors, thereby reducing the prevalence of the virus in flocks. 
 
To read more about this research in the May/June 2013 issue of Agricultural Research magazine, go to www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/may13/sheep0513.htm.