Association of SNP Haplotypes at the Myostatin Gene with Muscular Hypertrophy in Sheep

  • Gan, S.Q. (College of Animal Science and Technology, Shihezi University) ;
  • Du, Z. (State Key Laboratories for Agrobiotechnology, College of Biological Science, China Agriculture University) ;
  • Liu, S.R. (College of Animal Science and Technology, Shihezi University) ;
  • Yang, Y.L. (Key Labs of Sheep Breeding and Reproduce, Xinjiang Agroreclamation Academy of Sciences) ;
  • Shen, M. (College of Animal Science and Technology, Shihezi University) ;
  • Wang, X.H. (Key Labs of Sheep Breeding and Reproduce, Xinjiang Agroreclamation Academy of Sciences) ;
  • Yin, J.L. (Key Labs of Sheep Breeding and Reproduce, Xinjiang Agroreclamation Academy of Sciences) ;
  • Hu, X.X. (State Key Laboratories for Agrobiotechnology, College of Biological Science, China Agriculture University) ;
  • Fei, J. (State Key Laboratories for Agrobiotechnology, College of Biological Science, China Agriculture University) ;
  • Fan, J.J. (Ziniquan Sheep Research Institute) ;
  • Wang, J.H. (Ziniquan Sheep Research Institute) ;
  • He, Q.H. (Ziniquan Sheep Research Institute) ;
  • Zhang, Y.S. (Ziniquan Sheep Research Institute) ;
  • Li, N. (College of Animal Science and Technology, Shihezi University)
  • Received : 2007.08.22
  • Accepted : 2008.02.27
  • Published : 2008.07.01


The myostatin gene of seven important meat (Beltex (Australia), Beltex$\times$Huyang (F1), Meat and Multi-Prolific Chinese Merino Fine Wool, Meat Chinese Merino Fine Wool and Dorper (South Africa)) and non-meat (Huyang and Kazak) sheep breeds was analyzed to study the genetic basis of muscular hypertrophy (double muscling) phenotype in sheep. SNPs, four in regulatory regions and several in the introns in the myostatin gene, were identified, and the former four SNPs were used for further studies. Twelve haplotypes were predicted by PHASE program, of which four main haplotypes (1, 3, 7, 9) were present in 90% of the 364 sheep in the study. Haplotypes 1-4 were mainly present in meat breeds while haplotypes 7 and 9 dominated the non-meat breeds. The association between haplotypes and average daily gain (ADG) was analyzed among 116 sheep with production data, Haplo2 (CGAA) and Haplo8 (TGAA) were identified to have significant (p<0.05) effect on ADG by the model (JMP5.1 software) taking into account the effects of breed, family background, haplotype, birth weight and sex. ADG of these haplotype groups also correlated well (r = 0.82) with hypertrophic phenotype scores. In conclusion, the mutations -956 (T$\rightarrow$C), -41 (C$\rightarrow$A) and 6223 (G$\rightarrow$A) involved in Haplo2 and 8 may be associated with the double-muscling trait by influencing myostatin function and be suitable markers in selecting meat sheep.


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