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Genome-wide association study of four composite reproductive traits in Iranian fat-tailed sheep

R Abdoli, S Z Mirhoseini, N Ghavi Hossein-Zadeh, P Zamani, M H Ferdosi, C Gondro
Reproduction, Fertility, and Development 2019 April 9
Composite reproductive traits are a combination of growth and reproductive traits. They have the advantage of being better attuned to the market drivers since producers are paid on a per kilogram basis and not on a per head basis. In this study, 124 Lori---Bakhtiari ewes were genotyped using the medium-density Illumina Ovine SNP50 array. A genome-wide association study was performed on estimated breeding values of four composite reproductive traits and genetic parameters were also estimated. The traits were litter mean weight at birth, litter mean weight at weaning, total litter weight at birth and total litter weight at weaning. Several suggestive and associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified. Neighbouring the top SNPs there were five genes, inhibin β E subunit (INHBE), inhibin β C subunit (INHBC), testis expressed 12 (TEX12), β-carotene oxygenase 2 (BCO2) and WD Repeat Domain 70 (WDR70) identified as possible candidate genes for composite reproductive traits of the Lori-Bakhtiari sheep. These genes are in pathways known to be relevant to fertility and growth characteristics. The results provide new information for the functional annotation of genes associated with fertility traits and add new evidence towards a consensus of quantitative trait loci associated with reproductive traits in sheep.


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