Association of GH gene polymorphism with growth and semen traits in rabbits
Although growth hormone (GH) gene mutations are described in several species, the studies concerning their variabilities and associations with economic traits in rabbits are scarce, particularly associations with semen traits. A total of 149 rabbit bucks from five populations (V-line=36, Moshtohor line=28, APRI line=42, cross ½A½M=23, and Gabali=20) were used in the present study to identify polymorphism of c.-78 C>T single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of GH gene among these populations and to investigate the association of GH gene polymorphism with body weight (BW), daily weight gain (DG) and semen traits. DNA was extracted from blood samples for genotyping of c.-78 C>T SNP of GH gene based on polymerase chain reaction with the restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technique. The genetic diversity of SNP C>T of GH gene was assessed in terms of genotypic and allelic frequencies, effective number of alleles (Ne), observed (Ho) and expected (He) heterozygosity, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE), reduction in heterozygosity due to inbreeding (FIS) and polymorphism information content (PIC). Three genotypes of TT, CC and TC of PCR product of 231 bp of GH gene were detected and all the populations were in HWE in terms of GH gene. The highest Ne was obtained for the Moshtohor line (1.978), while the lowest allelic numbers were obtained for V-line (1.715) and Gabali breed (1.800). The highest genotype frequency of GH gene was 0.48 in TT genotype of V-line, 0.21 in CC genotype of Moshtohor line, 0.67 and 0.56 in TC genotype of ½A½M and Gabali rabbits (P<0.05). The highest frequency for C allele was recorded by Moshtohor line (0.45) and the lowest frequency by Gabali (0.32). The genetic diversity scores for GH gene were intermediate (Ho=0.551, He=0.471, PIC=0.358). The values of Ho ranged from 0.444 in V-line to 0.667 in ½A½M cross, while the values of He were 0.425 in V-line and 0.508 in Moshtohor line. The values of PIC were moderate and ranged from 0.332 in V-line to 0.375 in M-line. The highest FIS was observed in Moshtohor line (0.042) and the lowest value was observed in ½A½M cross (–0.413). The CT genotype of GH gene showed the highest and significant values for body weights at 4, 8, 10 and 12 wk (542, 1131, 1465 and 1861 g) and daily gains at intervals of 4-6 and 8-10 wk (23.1 and 26.5 g). Additionally, the CT genotype recorded the highest and significant values for volume of ejaculate (1.1 mL), sperm motility (57.6%), live sperm (85.6%), normal sperm (93.1%) and sperm concentration in semen (611×106/mL), along with the lowest and significant values for dead sperms (14.4%) and abnormal sperms (6.9%).
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