The inheritance of a lethal muscle contracture in the sheep
A lethal deformity of new-born lambs is described. The most striking feature of the condition is that the lambs are born with some or all of the limbs rigidly fixed, with only a small degree of movement possible at the joints. Parturition is rendered very difficult and there is a considerable mortality amongst the ewes producing these lambs.
The condition depends upon the homozygous state of an autosomal recessive factor.
During two years the sex-ratio of the affected lambs born in the flock observed was abnormal. Subsequent results and in particular anad hoc experiment gave a normal sex-ratio. Whether there is an additional complication that can lead to a disturbed sex-ratio must be left an open question.
The incidence of the defect is discussed and a brief account is given of the history of its appearance in the particular flock observed.
Volume 100, 2021
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