Five adult Merino and five adult Romney ewes were skin sampled on the back, midside and belly regions of the body following a study measuring the relationship between rate of sweat secretion and wool yellowing under various controlled environmental conditions. Densities of primary follicles, secondary follicles, sweat (sudoriferous) glands and sebaceous glands, as well as dimensions of the sweat and the sebaceous glands were measured. The density of secondary follicles was negatively related to wool yellowing and there was a weaker positive relationship between the density of primary follicles and wool yellowing. Underlying these relationships were associations of measurements suggesting sebaceous gland output restricted wool yellowing while sweat gland output encouraged wool yellowing. In addition, large sweat glands were related to increased sweat secretion rate. The results of this study suggest there may be two potential avenues to minimise fleece discolouration while the wool is growing on the sheep; either increasing sebum production or reducing sweat production. KEYWORDS: Romney; Merino; wool yellowing; wool follicles; sweat glands; sweat; sebaceous glands.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 65, Christchurch, 197-202, 2005
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