Case study of a Hungarian breeding program using imported Booroola rams

Mariann Árnyasi, Attila Zsolnai, István Komlósi, László Fésüs, András Jávor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


The first major gene for prolificacy identified in sheep was the Booroola (FecB) gene. Since the recognition of its existence, the Booroola Merino has spread all over the world. In Hungary, a new breed - called Hungarian Prolific Merino - had been established based on the crossing of Hungarian Merino ewes and Booroola Merino rams, and was acknowledged in 1992. The only way to determine the FecB genotypes has been the measurement of the ovulation rate over a long period. In 2001, the Booroola mutation was identified. Mutation on the bone morphogenetic protein receptor - IB gene was found to be associated with the increased ovulation rate in the Booroola Merino ewes. 138 ewes and 46 rams in the Hungarian Prolific Merino population were tested for this mutation by PCR-RFLP and their FecB genotypes were determined. One copy of the Fec B allele increased (P<0,05) the ovulation rate by 0.89 ova and two copies increased by an average of 2.27 ova. Effectiveness of the FecB genotype estimation based on phenotype measurement was also compared to the results of direct DNA testing, and was found to have up to 80% accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-366
Number of pages8
JournalArchiv fur Tierzucht
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2004



  • Direct DNA test
  • FecB gene
  • Hungarian Prolific Merino

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Árnyasi, M., Zsolnai, A., Komlósi, I., Fésüs, L., & Jávor, A. (2004). Case study of a Hungarian breeding program using imported Booroola rams. Archiv fur Tierzucht, 47(4), 359-366.