December 19, 2003
Dec. 19, 2003 -- Scientists in Australia have embarked on a project to identify the gene that causes black sheep.
Dark fibers in the wool clip are costly for farmers, who often have to cull sheep and separate wool to avoid color contamination. White sheep can carry what is known as the recessive self-color black gene. When both the ram and the sheep carry the gene, they can produce lambs that are black or piebald.
?A genetic test could be only three or four years away,? stated researcher Belinda Norris.