This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 772787.

Peer-reviewed publications

Scientific publications peer-reviewed


  • Identifying selection strategies based on the practices and preferences of small ruminant farmers to improve the sustainability of their breeding systems. V. Thénard, J. Quénon, G. Arsenos, G. Bailo, T.R. Baptista, T. Byrne, I. De Barbieri, G. Bruni, F. Freire, A. Theodoridis, S. Vouraki. Animal, May 2024.
  • Identification of Candidate Genes and Pathways Linked to the Temperament Trait in Sheep. Romaniuk, E.; Vera, B.; Peraza, P.; Ciappesoni, G.; Damián, P.; Van Lier, E. Genes, 15(2), 229, February 2024.


  • Partitioning of the genetic trends of French dairy sheep in Mendelian samplings and long-term contributions. S. Antonios, A. Legarra, R. Pong-Wong, J.M. Astruc, S.T. Rodriguez- Ramilo, Z.G. Vitezica. Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 106, issue 9, September 2023, pp. 6275-6287.
  • Epigenetic regulation of functional candidate genes for milk production traits in dairy sheep subjected to protein restriction in the prepubertal stage. A.S. Fonseca, A. Suárez-Vega, C. Esteban-Blanco, R. Pelayo, H. Marina, B. Gutiérrez-Gil, J.J. Arranz. BMC Genomics, 511, September 2023.
  • Opportunities and limits of commercial farm data to study the genetic determinism of feed efficiency throughout lactation in dairy sheep. C. Machefert, C. Robert, Granié, G. Lagriffoul, S. Parisot, C. Allain, D. Portes, J.M Astruc, P. Hassoun, H. Larroque. Animal, Vol. 17, Issue 8, August 2023.
  • Novel Resilient and Sustainable Farm Profiles in Small Ruminant Production Systems Using Mathematical Programming Model. A. Theodoridis, A. Ragkos, S. Vouraki, G. Arsenos, A. Kominakis, S. Coppin, V. Thenard, T. Byrne. Sustainability 15(15), July 2023.
  • Validation of single-step genomic BLUP random regression test-day models and SNP effects analysis on milk yield in French Saanen goats. M. Arnal, C. Robert-Granié, V. Ducrocq, and H. Larroque. Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 106, Issue 7, July 2023, pp. 4813-4824.
  • Including genotypic information in genetic evaluations increases the accuracy of sheep breeding values. K. Kaseja, S. Mucha, E. Smith, J. Yates, G. Banos, J. Conington. Journal of animal breeding and genetics, Vol. 140, Issue 4, July 2023, pp. 462-471.
  • Influence of a temporary restriction of dietary protein in prepubertal ewe lambs on first lactation milk traits and response to a mammary gland inflammatory challenge. R. Pelayo, H. Marina, A. Suárez-Vega, G. Hervás, C. Esteban-Blanco, B. Gausseres, G. Foucras, J. J. Arranz, B. Gutiérrez-Gil. Research in Veterinary Science, Vol. 159, June 2023, pp. 57 – 65.
  • Predicting feed efficiency traits in growing lambs from their ruminal microbiota. Q. Le Graverand, C. Marie-Etancelin, A. Meynadier, J.-L. Weisbecker, D. Marcon, F. Tortereau. Animal, Vol. 17, issue 6, June 2023.
  • Exploring the value of genomic predictions to simultaneously improve production potential and resilience of farmed animals. M. Ghaderi Zefreh, A. Doeschl-Wilson, V. Riggio, O. Matika, R. Pong-Wong. Frontiers in Genetics, Vol. 14, May 2023.
  • Breeding options for nematode resistance in Lacaune dairy sheep. S. Werne, K. Schwarz, S. Thüer, B. Bapst. Animal, Vol. 17, Issue 5, May 2023.
  • Feed efficiency in dairy sheep: An insight from the milk transcriptome. A. Suárez-Vega, P. Frutos, B. Gutiérrez-Gil, C. Esteban-Blanco, P.G. Toral, J.J. Arranz, G. Hervás. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, Vol. 10, April 2023.
  • Genetic and phenotypic relationships between ewe reproductive performance and wool and growth traits in Uruguayan Ultrafine Merino sheep. Z. Ramos; D.J. Garrick; H.T. Blair; I. De Barbieri; G. Ciappesoni; F. Montossi, P.R. Kenyon. Journal of Animal Science, Vo. 101, March 2023, pp. 1 – 11.
  • Novel genomic markers and genes related to reproduction in prolific Chios dairy sheep: a genome-wide association study. V. Tsartsianidou, A. Pavlidis, E. Tosiou, G. Arsenos, G. Banos, A. Triantafyllidis. Animal, Vol. 17, Issue 3, March 2023.
  • Intergenerational impact of dietary protein restriction in dairy ewes on epigenetic marks in the perirenal fat of their suckling lambs. P.A.S. Fonseca, A. Suárez‑Vega, R. Pelayo, H. Marina, M. Alonso‑García, B. Gutiérrez‑Gil, J.J. Arranz. Scientific Reports, Vol. 13, March 2023.
  • Relationships between growth-related traits with carcass and meat quality traits in Spanish Assaf suckling lambs. J. Mateo, I. Caro, A. Suarez-Vega, D.E. Carballo, M. Alonso-García, J.J. Arranz, B. Gutierrez-Gil. Livestock Science, Vol. 269, March 2023.
  • Genome-wide association study for milk production and conformation traits in Canadian Alpine and Saanen dairy goats. Massender, H. R. Oliveira, L. F. Brito, L. Maignel, M. Jafarikia, C. F. Baes, B. Sullivan, and F. S. Schenkel. Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 106, Issue 2, February 2023, pp. 1168-1189.
  • Discovering novel clues of natural selection on four worldwide goat breeds. Manunza, J. Ramirez Diaz, B. L. Sayre, P. Cozzi, T. Bobbo, T. Deniskova, A. Dotsev, N. Zinovieva, A. Stella. Nature, Scientific Reports, 13, 2110, February 2023.
  • Assessing the Genomics Structure of Dorper and White Dorper Variants, and Dorper Populations in South Africa and Hungary. G. Wanjala; P.K. Astuti; Z. Bagi; N. Kichamu; P. Strausz; S. Kusza. Biology 12(3), February 2023, pp. 1 – 11.
  • Genomic Regions Associated with Wool, Growth and Reproduction Traits in Uruguayan Merino Sheep. Z. Ramos; D.J. Garrick; H.T. Blair; B. Vera; G.  Ciappesoni; P.R. Kenyon. Genes, Vol. 14(1), January 2023, pp. 1 -13.
  • Reliabilities of estimated breeding values in models with metafounders. M. Bermann, I. Aguilar, D. Lourenco, I. Misztal, A. Lagarra. Genetics Seletics Evolution, 55, Article n. 6, January 2023.


  • The cost of host genetic resistance on body condition: Evidence from divergently selected sheep. F. Douhard, A. B Doeschl‐Wilson, A. Corbishley, A. D. Hayward, D. Marcon, J.‐L. Weisbecker, S. Aguerre, L. Bordes, P. Jacquiet, T. N. McNeilly, G. Sallé, C. Moreno. Evolutionary Applications, Vol. 15, Issue 9, September 2022, pp. 1374-1389.
  • Association Study of Parasite Resistance to Gastrointestinal Nematodes in Corriedale Sheep. B. Carracelas, E.A. Navajas, B. Vera, G. Ciappesoni. Genes, 13 (9), 1548, August 2022, pp. 1-16.
  • SNP arrays evaluation as tools in genetic improvement in Corriedale sheep in Uruguay. B. Carracelas, E.A. Navajas, B. Vera, G. Ciappesoni. Agrociencia Uruguay, Vol. 26 n. 2, August 2022, pp. 1-13.
  • High genetic correlation for milk yield across Manech and Latxa dairy sheep from France and Spain. A. Garcia-Baccino, C. Pineda-Quiroga, J. M. Astruc, E. Ugarte, and A. Legarra. JDS Communication, Vol. 3 Issue 4, July 2022, pp. 260-264.
  • Single- and multiple-breed genomic evaluations for conformation traits in Canadian Alpine and Saanen dairy goats. E. Massender, L. F. Brito, L. Maignel, H. R. Oliveira, M. Jafarikia, C. F. Baes, B. Sullivan, F.S. Schenkel. Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 105, issue 7, July 2022, pp. 5985-6000.
  • Repeatability of health and welfare traits and correlation with performance traits in dairy goats reared under low-input farming systems. S. Vouraki, A.I. Gelasakis, V. Fotiadou, G. Banos, G. Arsenos. Veterinary Sciences 9 (6) 289, June 2022, pp. 1-15.
  • Genome-wide analyses reveal a strong association between LEPR gene variants and body fat reserves in ewes. T. Macé, E. González-García, D. Foulquié, F. Carrière, J. Pradel, C. Durand, S. Douls, C. Allain, S. Parisot, D. Hazard. BMC Genomics, Article n. 412, June 2022.
  • Genetic Characterization and Population Connectedness of North American and European Dairy Goats. M. Teissier, L. F. Brito, F. S. Schenkel, G. Bruni, P. Fresi, B. Bapst, C. Robert-Granie, H. Larroque. Frontiers in Genetics, Vol. 13, June 2022.
  • Across-country genetic evaluation of meat sheep from Ireland and the United Kingdom. S. Fitzmaurice, J. Conington, K. McDermott, N. McHugh, & G. Banos. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Vol. 139, Issue 3, May 2022, pp. 342– 350.
  • Residual feed intake for Australian Merino sheep estimated in less than 42 days of trial. F. Amarilho-Silveira, I. de Barbieri, J. Araujo Cobucia, C. Marques Balconi, G. Ferreira de Ferreira, G. Ciappesoni. Livestock Science, Vol. 258, April 2022, pp. 1-12.
  • Single-Step Genomic Evaluation for Milk Production Traits in Canadian Alpine and Saanen Dairy Goats. E. Massender, L. F. Brito, L. Maignel, H. R. Oliveira, M. Jafarikia, C. F. Baes, B. Sullivan, F.S. Schenkel. Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 105, issue. 3, March 2022, pp. 2393-2407.
  • Animal Board Invited Review: Meta-analysis of genetic parameters for resilience and efficiency traits in goats and sheep. S. Mucha, F. Tortereau, A. Doeschl-Wilson, R. Rupp, J. Conington. Animal, Vol. 16, Issue 3, March 2022.
  • Removing data and using metafounders alleviates biases for all traits in Lacaune dairy sheep predictions. L. Macedo, J. M. Astruc, T. H. E. Meuwissen, A. Legarra. Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 105, issue. 3, March 2022, pp. 2439-2452.
  • Evaluation of the Links between Lamb Feed Efficiency and Rumen and Plasma Metabolomic Data. F. Touitou, F. Tortereau, L. Bret, N. Marty-Gasset, D. Marcon, A. Meynadier. Metabolites, Vol. 12, Issue 4, March 2022, p. 304.
  • Selection on functional longevity in a commercial population of dairy goats translates into significant differences in longevity in a common farm environment. M. Ithurbide, C. Huau, I. Palhière, T. Fassier, N.C. Friggens, R. Rupp. Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 105, n. 3, March 2022.


  • A Nonsense Variant in CCDC65 Gene Causes Respiratory Failure Associated with Increased Lamb Mortality in French Lacaune Dairy Sheep. M. Ben Braiek, C. Moreno-Romieux, C. Allain, P. Bardou, A. Bordes, F. Debat, C. Drögemüller, F. Plisson-Petit, D. Portes, J. Sarry, N. Tadi, F. Woloszyn, and S. Fabre. Genes, 13 (1), 45, December 2021.
  • The correlation of substitution effects accross populations and generations in the presence of non-additive functional gene action. A. Legarra, C. A. Garcia-Baccino, Y. C.J. Wientjes, Z. G. Vitezica. Genetics, August 2021.
  • Livestock disease resilience: From individual to herd level. A. Doeschl-Wilson, P.W. Knap, T. Opriessnig, S.J. More. Animal Vol. 15, Issue 7, July 2021.
  • Islands of runs of homozygosity indicate selection signatures in Ovis aries 6 (OAR6) of French dairy sheep. S.T. Rodríguez-Ramilo, A. Reverter, A. Legarra. JDS Communication, Vol. 2 Issue 3, May 2021, pp. 132-136.
  • Identification of homozygous haplotypes carrying putative recessive lethal mutations that compromise fertility traits in French Lacaune dairy sheep. M. Ben Braiek, S. Fabre, C. Hoze, J.M. Astruc, C. Moreno-Romieux. Genetics Selection Evolution, 53, Article n. 41, May 2021.
  • Changes in allele frequencies when different genomic coancestry matrices are used for maintaining genetic diversity. E. Morales-González, J. Fernández, R. Pong-Wong, M.A. Toro, B. Villanueva. Genes, 12(5), 673, April 2021.
  • Genetic parameters of animal traits associated with coccidian and nematode parasite load in Scottish Blackface sheep. A. Pacheco, G. Banos, T. McNeilly, and J. Conington. Animal, Vol. 15, Issue 4, April 2021.
  • Feed conversion efficiency in sheep genetically selected for resistance to gastrointestinal nematodes. F. Ferreira, G. Ciappesoni, D. Castells, F. Amarilho-Silveira, E. A. Navajas, D. Giorello, G. Banchero and I. De Barbieri. Animal Production Science, Vol. 61(8), March 2021, pp. 754-760.
  • Genomic and pedigree estimation of inbreeding depression for semen traits in the Basco-Béarnaise dairy sheep breed. S. Antonios, S.T. Rodríguez-Ramilo, I. Aguilar, J.M. Astruc, A.Legarra, Z.G. Vitezica. Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 104, n. 3, March 2021.
  • The levels of artificial insemination and missing sire information make genomic selection not always beneficial in meat sheep. J. Raoul, J.M. Elsen. Animal Vol. 15, Issue 2, February 2021, pp. 899-909.
  • Selection and drift reduce genetic variation for milk yield in Manech Tête Rousse dairy sheep. F. L. Macedo, O. F. Christensen, A. Legarra. JDS Communication, Vol. 2 Issue 1, January 2021, pp. 31-34.
  • Detection of unrecorded environmental challenges in high-frequency recorded traits, and genetic determinism of resilience to challenge, with an application on feed intake in lambs. A. Garcia-Baccino, C. M. Etancelin, F. Tortereau, D. Marcon, J.L. Weisbecker, A. Legarra.Genetics Selection Evolution, 53, Article n. 4, January 2021.
  • Genetic and economic benefits of foreign sire contributions to a domestic sheep industry; including an Ireland-New Zealand case study. N. Fetherstone, F.S. Hely, N. McHugh, F.M. McGovern, P.R. Amer. Genetics Selection Evolution, 53, Article n. 5, January 2021.


  • Potentials of using milk performance data and FAMACHA score as indicators for Targeted Selective Treatment in Lacaune dairy sheep in Switzerland. K. Schwarz, B, Bapst, M. Holinger, S. Thüer, I, Schleip, S. Werne. Veterinary Parasitology: X, Vol. 4, December 2020.
  • Why breed disease-resilient livestock, and how? P.W. Knap, A. Doeschl-Wilson. Genetics Selection Evolution, 52. Article n. 60. October 2020.
  • Exploring the inclusion of genomic information and metafounders in Latxa dairy sheep genetic evaluations. I. Granado-Tajada, Legarra and E. Ugarte. Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 103, n. 7, July 2020.
  • Genetic analyses of live weight and carcass composition traits in purebred Texel, Suffolk and Charollais lambs. S. Fitzmaurice, J. Conington, N. Fetherstone, T. Pabiou, K. McDermott, E. Wall, G. Banos, N. McHugh. Animal Vol. 14, Issue 5, May 2020, pp. 899-909.
  • Short communication: Methods to compuite genomic inbreeding for ungenotyped individuals. A. Legarra, I. Aguillar, J.J. Colleau. Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 103, Issue 4, April 2020, pp. 3363-3367.
  • Population structure and breed composition prediction in a multi-breed sheep population using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism genotypes. A. C. O’Brien, D.C. Purfield, M. M. Judge, C. Long, S. Fair. Animal, Vol. 14, Issue 3, March 2020, pp. 464-474.
  • Genetic and nongenetic factors associated with the fate of maiden ewe lambs: slaughtered without ever lambing versus retained for breeding. N. Mchugh, T. Pabiou, K. Mcdermott, E. Wall, D. P. Berry. Translational Animal Science, Volume 4, Issue 1, January 2020, 242-249.


  • Behavior of the Linear Regression method to estimate bias and accuracies with correct and incorrect genetic evaluation models. L. Macedo, A. Reverter, and A. Legarra. Journal of Dairy Science, November 2019.
  • Inbreeding and effective population size in French dairy sheep: Comparison between genomic and pedigree estimates. T. Rodríguez-Ramilo, J. M. Elsen, and A. Legarra. Journal of Dairy Science, May 2019, Volume 102, Issue 5, Pages 4227–4237. (open archive)