One of the objectives of the RUMIGEN WP5 activity 3 is to compare the relative efficiency of introducing a favorable allele from a Norwegian goat breed into the Alpine breed by gene introgression or genome editing, while preserving the specific traits of these animals. The chosen allele confers to the homozygous carrier goats a resistance to scrapie, a fatal pathology that affects small ruminants. In addition, this study also aims to study some other phenotypes observed in the Norwegian breed in animals carrying this allele, and to ascertain whether they are due to the allele itself or to the genetic context.
A key step in this project is the editing of the genome of Alpine animals to reproduce an allele identical to that present in the Norwegian breed. This work, performed using the CrispR/Cas9 technique, has been set up with the collaboration of ELIANCE (ex ALLICE), INRAE and NMBU teams. We are happy to announce that it has allowed the birth of three genome-edited kids, in excellent health (see a picture of two of them with their mother), in April 2022, that will allow us to continue our investigations