Genetic variability of the PRNP gene in goat breeds from Northern and Southern Italy

P.L. Acutis, S. Colussi, G. Santagada, C. Laurenza, M.G. Maniaci, M.V. Riina, S. Peletto, W. Goldmann, A. Bossers, M. Caramelli, I. Cristoferi, S. Maione, P. Sacchi, R. Rasero

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    Aims: To determine the variability of the prion protein gene (PRNP) in goats from Northern and Southern Italy. Methods and results: Genomic DNA isolated from goat blood was polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified for the coding region of the PRNP gene and then sequenced. In total, 13 polymorphic sites were identified: G37V, T110P, G127S, M137I, I142M, I142T, H143R, R154H, P168Q, T194P, R211Q, Q222K and S240P (substitutions I142T and T194P are novel) giving rise to 14 haplotypes. Clear frequency differences between Northern and Southern breeds were found and confirmed by genetic distance analysis.Conclusions: Differences in allele distribution were found between Northern and Southern goats, in particular regarding the M142 and K222 alleles, possibly associated to scrapie resistance; philogeographical analysis supported the idea that Northern and Southern breeds may be considered as separate clusters. Significance and impact of the study: In Italy only limited studies have been carried out on caprine PRNP genotype distribution; this study is important to fill this lack of information. Moreover the finding of significant differences among allele distributions in Northern and Southern goats, especially if involved in modulating resistance/susceptibility, need to be carefully considered for the feasibility of selection plans for resistance to scrapie.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1782-1789
    JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • prion protein gene
    • natural scrapie
    • prp gene
    • atypical scrapie
    • polymorphisms
    • sheep
    • ovine
    • allele
    • identification
    • resistance

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