J Vet Sci.  2018 Nov;19(6):858-861. 10.4142/jvs.2018.19.6.858.

Freemartinism in replacement ewe-lambs of the Ripollesa sheep breed

  • 1Department of Animal and Food Science, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain. joaquim.casellas@uab.cat


The freemartinism syndrome affects almost all female calves born as co-twins to male calves, whereas little is known about this phenomenon in female sheep. Within this context, 1,185 ewe-lambs from the Ripollesa sheep breed were genotyped for the presence of oY1 polymorphism (a non-autosomal region of the Y chromosome). Neither ewe-lambs from single births (856) nor ewe-lambs from all-female multiple births (170) were revealed as freemartins, whereas five of 159 ewe-lambs from multiple births with male co-twins were freemartins (3.15 ± 1.38%). All freemartin ewe-lambs were confirmed by physical examination of external genitalia. The results confirm a low incidence of freemartinism from heterosexual twin pregnancies in Ripollesa sheep.


Ripollesa breed; freemartin; sheep
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