Effects of Variants in Proopiomelanocortin and Neuropeptide Y Genes on Growth, Carcass, and Meat Quality Traits in Rabbits

  • Liu, Wen-Chao (Institute of Animal Genetics and Breeding, Sichuan Agricultural University) ;
  • Chen, Shi-Yi (Institute of Animal Genetics and Breeding, Sichuan Agricultural University) ;
  • Jia, Xian-Bo (Institute of Animal Genetics and Breeding, Sichuan Agricultural University) ;
  • Wang, Jie (Institute of Animal Genetics and Breeding, Sichuan Agricultural University) ;
  • Lai, Song-Jia (Institute of Animal Genetics and Breeding, Sichuan Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2013.12.09
  • Accepted : 2014.03.14
  • Published : 2014.05.01


Appetite-related neuropeptides proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and Neuropeptide Y (NPY) are essential for regulating feeding behavior and energy homeostasis. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of variants in POMC and NPY genes on growth, carcass and meat quality traits in rabbits. A total of six SNPs were identified for POMC (n = 2) and NPY (n = 4) genes by direct sequencing. Three SNPs were subsequently genotyped by using MassArray system (Sequenom iPLEXassay) in 235 individuals, which belong to three meat rabbit breeds, including 93 Ira rabbits; 81 Champagne rabbits and 61 Tianfu black rabbits. The SNP c.112-12G>T was in intron-exon boundaries (intron 1) of POMC gene, and the association analysis showed that individuals with TT genotype had a greater 84 d body weight (BW84), eviscerated weight and semi-eviscerated weight than those with GT genotype (p<0.05); the TT individuals were also higher than those GG in the ripe meat ratio (RMR) (p<0.05). The g.1778G>C SNP, which was in complete linkage with other three SNPs (g.1491G>A, g.1525G>T and g.1530C>T) in intron 1 of NPY gene, was significantly correlated with eviscerated slaughter percentage and semi-eviscerated slaughter percentage in rabbits, and the individuals with CC genotype had a better performance than CG genotype (p<0.05). These findings would provide primary clues for the biological roles of POMC and NPY underlying the rabbit growth-related traits.


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