Relationships between skin follicle characteristics and fibre properties of suri and huacaya alpacas and peppin merino sheep

Ferguson, M. B., McGregor, B. A. and Behrendt, R. 2012, Relationships between skin follicle characteristics and fibre properties of suri and huacaya alpacas and peppin merino sheep, Animal production science, vol. 52, no. 7, pp. 442-447.

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Title Relationships between skin follicle characteristics and fibre properties of suri and huacaya alpacas and peppin merino sheep
Author(s) Ferguson, M. B.
McGregor, B. A.
Behrendt, R.
Journal name Animal production science
Volume number 52
Issue number 7
Start page 442
End page 447
Total pages 6
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Collingwood, VIC
Publication date 2012-04-03
ISSN 1836-0939
1836-5787
Keyword(s) fibre curvature
fibre diameter
fibre quality
liveweight
tenacity
Summary We aimed to quantify the number, type and arrangement of skin follicles in Huacaya and Suri alpaca skin and correlate their follicle characteristics with fibre traits of harvested fibre and compared these relationships with those of Merino sheep. Fibre and skin samples were collected from the mid-side of 12 Huacaya alpacas, 24 Suri alpacas and 10 Merino sheep. The mean fibre diameter (MFD ± s.e.) of the Huacaya and Suri were: 35.5 ± 0.9 and 28.3 ± 1.0 μm, respectively. The follicle groups found for alpacas were very different from the normal trio of primary follicles found in sheep and goats. The follicle group of the alpacas consisted of a single primary follicle surrounded by a variable number of secondary follicles. The mean ± s.e. primary follicle density was 3.1 ± 0.3 and 2.7 ± 0.1 follicles/mm2 for Huacaya and Suri, respectively. The mean ± s.e. secondary follicle density (SFD) was 13.7 ± 1.2 and 17.5 ± 0.6 follicles/mm2 for Huacaya and Suri, respectively. The mean ± s.e. ratio of secondary to primary follicles (S/P ratio) was 5.1 ± 0.5 for the Huacaya and 7.3 ± 0.2 for the Suri alpacas. The sheep had higher S/P ratios and SFD, lower MFD and produced significantly heavier fleeces. The key correlations found between traits in alpacas include a negative correlation between SFD and MFD (r = –0.71, P = 0.001) and a negative correlation between S/P ratio and MFD (r = –0.44, P = 0.003) and a positive correlation between S/P ratio and total follicle density (r = 0.38, P = 0.010). The study revealed that important relationships exist between alpaca skin follicle characteristics and fibre characteristics. It was the number of secondary follicles in a group that imparts density and a corresponding reduced MFD.

Language eng
Field of Research 070202 Animal Growth and Development
Socio Economic Objective 830307 Minor Livestock (e.g. Alpacas, Ostriches, Crocodiles, Farmed Rabbits)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, CSIRO
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30049702

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Institute for Frontier Materials
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