Identification of two novel single nucleotide polymorphism sites in the Myostatin (MSTN) gene and their association with carcass traits in meat-type rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus)


  • L. Q. Yang Sichuan Agricultural University
  • K. Zhang Sichuan Agricultural University
  • Q. Y. Wu Sichuan Agricultural University
  • J. Li Sichuan Agricultural University
  • S. J. Lai Sichuan Agricultural University
  • T. Z. Song Tibet Academy of Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Science
  • M. Zhang Sichuan Agricultural University



rabbit, myostatin gene, single nucleotide polymorphisms, carcass traits


Two unknown single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) sites in exons 1 (c.194C>T) and 2 (c.445T>A) of meat-type rabbit MSTN gene were identified in the study. Our objective was to analyse the population genetics structure of the two novel SNP sites in 230 individuals from six breeds and their associations with carcass traits of rabbits. We found that live body weight (BW), cold carcass weight (CCW), reference carcass weight (RCW), CCW percentage (PCCW) and RCW percentage (PRCW) of the rabbits with the genotype CC at the c.194C>T of exon 1 or AA at the c.445T>A of exon 2 were significantly higher than those with other genotypes. Diplotype significantly affected BW, RCW, CCW, PRCW (P<0.01) and PCCW and PCM (P<0.05). CC/AA was the advantageous diplotype for BW, RCW, CCW and PCM, and TT/AA was the advantageous diplotype for PCCW and PRCW. In contrast, TT/TT was the negative diplotype for BW, CCW, RCW, PCCW and PRCW, and TT/AA was the negative diplotype for PCM. The results suggest that the two new mutations of MSTN gene significantly affected BW, CCW, RCW, PCCW and PRCW of rabbits, and MSTN may be an important candidate gene of carcass traits in meat-type rabbits.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

L. Q. Yang, Sichuan Agricultural University

College of Animal Science & Technology. M.D.

K. Zhang, Sichuan Agricultural University

College of Animal Science & Technology

Q. Y. Wu, Sichuan Agricultural University

College of Animal Science & Technology

J. Li, Sichuan Agricultural University

Institute of Animal Nutrition

S. J. Lai, Sichuan Agricultural University

Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetic

T. Z. Song, Tibet Academy of Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Science

Institute of Animal Science

M. Zhang, Sichuan Agricultural University

College of Animal Science and Technology.Professor


Abdel-Kafy E.M., Darwish S.F., Elkhishin D. 2016. Correlating single nucleotide polymorphisms in the myostatin gene with performance traits in rabbit. World Rabbit Sci., 24: 213-221.

Bellinge R.H.S., Liberles D.A., Iashi S.P.A., O’Brien P.A., Tay G.K. 2004. Myostatin and its implications on animal breeding: a review. Anim. Gen., 36: 1-6.

El-Sabrout K., Aggag S.A. 2017. Associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms in multiple candidate genes and body weight in rabbits. Vet. World, 10: 136-139.

Fontanesi L., Scotti E., Frabetti A., Fornasini D., Picconi A., Russo V. 2011. Identification of polymorphisms in the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) myostatin (MSTN) gene and association analysis with finishing weight in a commercial rabbit population. Anim. Gen., 42: 339.

Fontanesi L., Tazzoli M., Scotti E., Russo V. 2008. Analysis of candidate genes for meat production traits in domestic rabbit breeds. 9th World Rabbit Congress, Verona, Italy, 10-13 June 2008, 32: 73-87.

George K.S., Michael G., Iosif B., George P., Olga P., Zafeiris A., Stelios G.D. 2015. Stella E.C. Effects of gestational maternal undernutrition on growth carcass composition and meat quality of rabbit offspring. PLOS one, 10: 1-11.

Grobet L., Poncelet D., Royo Martin L.J., Brouwers B., Pirottin D., Michaux C., Ménissier F., Zanotti M., Dunner S., Georges M. 1998. Molecular definition of an allelic series of mutations disrupting the myostatin function and causing double muscling in cattle. Mamm. Genome, 9: 210-213.

Grobet L., Royo Martin L.J., Poncelet D., Pirottin D., Brouwers B., Riquet J., Scheberlein A., Dunner S., Menissier F., Massabanda J., Fries R., Hanset R., Georges M. 1997. A deletion in the bovine myostatin gene causes the doublemuscled phenotype in cattle. Nat. Genet., 17: 71-74.

Guo D., Cao Y., Zhang J.B., Han D., Zhang X.B., Jin H.G. 2007. Analysis of SNPs polymorphism in the exon 1 of MSTN gene in Grassland Red cattle. Modern Journal of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, 11: 12-13 (In Chinese).

Guo R., Wan Y., Xu D., Cui L., Deng M., Zhang G., Jia R., Zhou W., Wang Z., Deng K., Huang M., Wang F., Zhang Y. 2016. Generation and evaluation of Myostatin knock-out rabbits and goats using CRISPR/Cas9 system. Sci. Rep-UK., 6: 1-10.

Jiang Y.L., Li N., Wu C.X., Li L.X. 2008. Analysis on nucleotide polymorphisms of porcine myostatin gene in different breeds. J. Genet. Genomics, 28: 840-845 (In Chinese).

Joulia-Ekaza D., Cabello G. 2007. The myostatin gene: physiology and pharmacological relevance. Curr. Op. Pharmacol., 7: 310-315.

Joulia D., Bernardi H., Garandel V., Rabenoelina F., Vernus B., Cabello G. 2003. Mechanisms involved in the inhibition of myoblast proliferation and differentiation by myostatin. Exp. Cell Res. 286, 263-275.

Jurečková J., Picek J. 2007. Shapiro–Wilk-type test of normality under nuisance regression and scale. Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, 51(10): 5184-5191.

Kambadur R., Sharma M., Smith T.P..L, Bass J.J. 1997. Mutation in myostatin (GDF8) in double-muscled Belgian blue and Piedmontese cattle. Gen. Res., 7: 910-915.

Lin J., Arnold H.B., Della-Fera M.A, Azain M.J., Hartzell D.L., Baile CA. 2002. Myostatin knock-out in mice increases myogenesis and decreases adipogenesis. Biochem. Bioph. Res. Co., 292: 701-706.

Li S.H., Xiong Y.Z., Zheng R., Li A.Y., Deng C.Y., Jiang S.W., Lei M.G., Weng Y.Q., Cao G.C. 2002. Polymorphism of porcine myostatin gene. J. Genet. Genomics, 29: 326-331 (In Chinese).

Liu Z.Z., Li X.L., Gong Y.F., Jin X.M., Feng M.S. 2006. Relationship between polymorphism of goat MSTN gene intron 2 and body weight. Acta Vet. Zootec. Sinica, 37: 745-748.

Lu J.Q., Huang W., Zhao N., Wang W.W., Hou S.S. 2008. Analysis on gene polymorphism of myostatin and carcass traits of Peking duck. China Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Medicine 35: 61-63 (In Chinese).

Marchitelli C., Savarese M.C., Crisa A., Nardone A., Ajmone-Marsan P., Valentini A. 2003. Double muscling in marchigiana beef breed is caused by a stop codon in the third exon of myostatin gene. Mamm. Genome, 14: 392-395.

McCroskery S., THomas M., Maxwell L, Sharma M., Kambadur R. 2003. Myostatin negatively regulates satellite cell activation and self-renewal. J. Cell Biol., 162: 1135-1147.

McPherron A.C., Lawler A.M., Lee S.J. 1997. Regulation of skeletal muscle mass in mice by a new TGF-B superfamily member. Nature, 387: 83-90.

McPherron A.C, Lee S.J. 1997. Double muscling in cattle due to mutations in myostatin gene. In Proc.: National Academy of Sciences, 94: 12457-12461.

McPherron A.C., Lee S.J. 2002. Suppression of body fat accumulation in myostatin-deficient mice. J. Clin. Invest., 109: 595-601.

Mosher D.S., Quignon P., Bustamante C.D., Sutter N.B., Mellersh C.S., Parker H.G, Ostrander E.A. 2007. A mutation in the myostatin gene increases muscle mass and enhances racing performance in heterozygote dogs. Plos Genetics, 3: e79.

Naveen Z., Naik B.R., Subramanyam B.V., Reddy P.M. 2016. Studies on the quality of duck meat sausages during refrigeration. Springer Plus, 5: 2061.

Qiao X.B., Xu K.Y., Li B., Luan X., Xia T., Fan X.Z. 2014. Rabbit MSTN gene polymorphisms and genetic effect analysis. Genet. Mol. Res., 13: 2590-2597.

Rios R., Carneiro I., Arce V.M., Devesa J.. 2002. Myostatin is an inhibitor of myogenic differentiation. Am. J. Physiol. Cell Physiol., 282: 993-999.

Shi B., Wen H.S., He F., Dong S.L., Ma S., Chen C.F., Wang L.S., Yao J, Mu X.J., Zhou Y.G. 2009. Association of reproductive performance with SNPs of FOXL2 gene by SSCP in Japanese flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus). Comp. Biochem. Physiol., 153: 1-7.

Simon D., Palatnik M., Roisenberg I. 2002. Analysis of the1185A/G von Willebrand factor (VWF) gene polymorphism in two Brazilian ethnic groups and its effect on the plasma VWF levels. Thromb. Res., 105: 519-522.

Sternstein I., Reissmann M., Maj D., Bieniek J., Brockmann G.A. 2014. A new single nucleotide polymorphism in the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) myostatin (MSTN ) gene is associated with carcass composition traits. Anim. Genet., 45: 596-599.

Zhang G.W., Wang H.Z., Chen S.Y., Li Z.C., Zhang W.X., Lai S.J. 2011. A reduced incidence of digestive disorders in rabbits is associated with allelic diversity at the TLR4 locus. Vet. Immunol. Immunop., 144: 482-486.

Zhang H.L., Shi H.C., Luo S.P., Niu Z.G., Tang S, Wu J., Liu M.J. 2007. Analysis on mononucleotide polymorphism of exon I of myostatingene in sheep. J. Xinjiang Agricultural University, 30, 21-24 (In Chinese).

Zhu Z., Wu D.J., Xu N.Y. 2007. SNPs of myostatin gene and its genetic effects on carcass traits in chicken. Hereditas, 29: 593-598 (In Chinese).