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EASTBIO Mapping disease genes in endangered cattle breeds

  • Full or part time

    Prof A Tenesa
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, January 05, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies / The Roslin Institute

Rare cattle breeds are an incredibly important resource for mapping disease genes. On the one hand they are often more susceptible to inherited diseases due to their smaller population sizes, while on the other hand they are often more tolerant to other diseases due to being more adapted to particular environments. This means mapping both deleterious and protective disease alleles can often be easier in rare breeds. Many cattle breeds are though under threat, either due to disease or due to being replaced or cross-bred with more common breeds. With changes in the environment due to climate change and the evolution of farming practices rarer cattle breeds provide an ever more important source of diversity.

The aim of this project will be to apply both quantitative and population genetics approaches to map disease genes in British and African endangered cattle breeds. This will include working closely with whitebred shorthorn breeders in the UK to analyse genotyping data from an extended affected pedigree and map the gene responsible for a strong infertility phenotype in these cattle. Using a unique resource of long read sequencing data and population genetics data with collaborators in Kenya the student will also map the gene driving tolerance to an important disease, East Cast fever, found among the indigenous Ankole breed.

The project would be suitable for applicants with a veterinary science, biology, bioinformatics, computational or statistical background and the student will have the opportunity to develop highly transferable skills in programming (R/Python), Linux and statistics. There will also be opportunities to visit collaborators at the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi as part of this project.

Eligibility:
All candidates should have or expect to have a minimum of an appropriate upper 2nd class degree. To qualify for full funding students must be UK or EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for 3 years prior to commencement.

Funding Notes

Applications:
Completed application form along with your supporting documents should be sent to our PGR student team at

References:
Please send the reference request form to two referees. Completed forms for University of Edinburgh, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the Roslin Institute project should be returned to by the closing date: 5th January 2020.

It is your responsibility to ensure that references are provided by the specified deadline.
Download application and reference forms via:
View Website

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