Polymorphism of BMPR1B, BMP15 and GDF9 fecundity genes in prolific Garole sheep
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Mutation studies in different prolific sheep breeds have shown that the transforming growth factor beta super family ligands viz. the growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9/FecG), bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15/FecX) and associated type I receptors, bone morphogenetic protein receptor (BMPR1B/FecB), are major determinant of ovulation rate and consequent increase in litter size. The Garole sheep is a highly prolific sheep breed of India. Characterization of fecundity genes in these animals could substantially improvise the breeding programme in these animals as well as other sheep breeds of the region. The present study was therefore designed with the objective of polymorphism study of fecundity genes in these prolific microsheep. A total of 11 point mutations were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method. A competitive technique called tetra-primer amplification refractory mutation system-PCR was adapted to type a total of ten points of two ovine fecundity genes (GDF9 and BMP15). The FecB locus of the BMPR1B gene and G1 locus of GDF9 gene were found to be polymorphic. In FecB locus, two genotypes, wild type (FecB+) and mutant (FecBB), were detected with allele frequencies of 0.39 and 0.61, respectively. At G1 locus, two genotypes, mutant (A) and wild types (G) were detected with allele frequencies of 0.18 and 0.82, respectively. This study reports Garole sheep as the fourth sheep breed after Belclare/Cambridge, Lacaune and Small-tailed Han sheep, where coexisting polymorphism has been found in two different fecundity genes (BMPRIB and GDF9 genes).