Homozygous grey and white Karakul lambs die after they have reached weaning age. This is due to a
lethal gene causing digestive disturbances. Previous studies revealed that grey and white lambs have
large, milk-filled rumens; the phenomenon was attributed to a significant decrease in the number of myenteric
ganglia and neurons in the rumen wall. This study was undertaken to determine whether any morphological
differences exist in the ultrastructure of the myenteric ganglia in the forestomach and abomasum
of grey, white and black Karakul lambs. Samples of the forestomach and abomasum of grey, white
and black Karakul lambs were prepared routinely for electron microscopy and studied with a Phillips electron
microscope. No morphological differences could be detected in the structure of the components of
the myenteric ganglia in the forestomachs and abomasums of grey, white and black Karakul lambs. It was
therefore concluded that the lethal gene in grey and white Karakul lambs results in a paucity of the myenteric
ganglia, but does not affect the ultrastructure of these structures.
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