James Patrick Hanrahan

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Belclare and Cambridge are prolific sheep breeds, the origins of which involved selecting ewes with exceptionally high litter size records from commercial flocks. The variation in ovulation rate in both breeds is consistent with segregation of a gene (or genes) with a large effect on this trait. Sterile ewes, due to a failure of normal ovarian follicle(More)
From examination of inherited patterns of ovulation rate in sheep, several breeds have been identified with point mutations in two growth factor genes (BMP15 and GDF9) and a related receptor (ALK6) that are expressed in oocytes. Five different point mutations have been identified in the BMP15 gene, one in GDF9 and one in ALK6. Animals heterozygous for these(More)
Recent discoveries that high prolificacy in sheep carrying the Booroola gene (FecB) is the result of a mutation in the BMPIB receptor and high prolificacy in Inverdale sheep (FecX(I)) is the result of a mutation in the BMP15 oocyte-derived growth factor gene have allowed direct marker tests to be developed for FecB and FecX(I). These tests were carried out(More)
Genetic mutations with major effects on ovulation rate in sheep were recently identified in two genes of the transforming growth factor (TGFβ) superfamily and a TGFβ receptor, namely bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15), otherwise known as the growth differentiation factor 9b (GDF9b), GDF9 and activin-like kinase 6 (ALK6) otherwise known as the BMP(More)
A potential control strategy for nematode infection in sheep is the implementation of a breeding programme to select for genes associated with resistance. The Texel breed is more resistant to gastrointestinal nematode infection than the Suffolk breed, based on faecal egg count, and this difference should enable the identification of some of the genes(More)
The PrP genotypes associated with natural scrapie in Ireland were determined and a comparison was made between genotypes found in scrapie-infected sheep and those found in healthy animals from scrapie-infected flocks. Seven PrP genotypes were identified in scrapie-infected animals:(More)
Limited information is available on differences between sheep breeds with respect to helminth resistance under temperate conditions. The present study was designed to confirm and extend preliminary findings on observed breed differences in resistance to naturally acquired gastrointestinal nematodes in Suffolk and Texel sheep. Three trials were carried out.(More)
Artificial insemination (AI) in sheep is currently limited by the poor fertility obtained following non-surgical intracervical insemination of frozen-thawed semen. An exception to this general finding is the non-return rate of around 58% reported for large scale on-farm AI in Norway. The objective of the present study was to determine if similar results(More)
Cervical artificial insemination (AI) in sheep with fresh semen yields a much higher pregnancy rate than when frozen-thawed semen is used, and consequently frozen semen is only acceptable for laparoscopic insemination. The short life span of fresh semen is a major constraint on the use of AI in genetic improvement programs for sheep. The main objective of(More)
Ovulation rate in mammals is determined by a complex exchange of hormonal signals between the pituitary gland and the ovary and by a localised exchange of hormones within ovarian follicles between the oocyte and its adjacent somatic cells. From examination of inherited patterns of ovulation rate in sheep, point mutations have been identified in two(More)