Table of Contents
Advances in Biology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 904281, 13 pages
Review Article

The Application of Genomic Technologies to Investigate the Inheritance of Economically Important Traits in Goats

Department of Animal Genetics, Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CSIC-IRTA-UAB-UB), Campus Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain

Received 13 February 2014; Revised 15 July 2014; Accepted 19 July 2014; Published 17 September 2014

Academic Editor: Guillermo Giovambattista

Copyright © 2014 Marcel Amills. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Goat genomics has evolved at a low pace because of a lack of molecular tools and sufficient investment. Whilst thousands and hundreds of quantitative trait loci (QTL) have been identified in cattle and sheep, respectively, about nine genome scans have been performed in goats dealing with traits as conformation, growth, fiber quality, resistance to nematodes, and milk yield and composition. In contrast, a great effort has been devoted to the characterization of candidate genes and their association with milk, meat, and reproduction phenotypes. In this regard, causal mutations have been identified in the -casein gene that has a strong effect on milk composition and the PIS locus that is linked to intersexuality and polledness. In recent times, the development of massive parallel sequencing technologies has allowed to build a reference genome for goats as well as to monitor the expression of mRNAs and microRNAs in a broad array of tissues and experimental conditions. Besides, the recent design of a 52K SNP chip is expected to have a broad impact in the analysis of the genetic architecture of traits of economic interest as well as in the study of the population structure of goats at a worldwide scale.