Sheep (Ovis aries) provide a vital source of protein and fibre to human populations. In coming decades, as the pressures associated with rapidly changing climates increase, breeding sheep sustainably as well as producing enough protein to feed a growing human population will pose a considerable challenge for sheep production across the globe. High quality reference genomes and other genomic resources can help to meet these challenges by: 1) informing breeding programmes by adding a priori information about the genome, 2) providing tools such as pangenomes for characterising and conserving global genetic diversity, and 3) improving our understanding of fundamental biology using the power of genomic information to link cell, tissue and whole animal scale knowledge. In this review we describe recent advances in the genomic resources available for sheep, discuss how these might help to meet future challenges for sheep production, and provide some insight into what the future might hold.
- gene editing