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    The growth hormone is important in the regulation of metabolism and energy homeostasis and acts through a growth hormone receptor (GHR). In this work, genetic variations within the ovine GHR gene were identified and tested for associations with body morphometric traits in Chinese Luxi Blackhead (LXBH) sheep. Novel deletion loci in the LXBH GHR gene included P2-del-23 bp and P8-del-23 bp indel variants. The polymorphic information content (PIC) was 0.329 in P2-del-23 bp and 0.257 in P8-del-23 bp. Moreover, both indel polymorphisms were not at Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (p < 0.05) in the LXBH population. Statistical analyses revealed that the P2-del-23 bp and P8-del-23 bp indels were significantly associated (p < 0.05) with several growth traits in rams and ewes, including body weight, body height, chest depth, chest width, chest circumference, cannon circumference, paunch girth and hip width. Among the tested sheep, the body traits of those with genotype DD were superior to those with II and ID genotypes, suggesting that the 'D' allele was responsible for the positive effects on growth traits. Thus, these results indicate that the P2-del-23 bp and P8-del-23 bp indel sites and the DD genotype can be useful in marker-assisted selection in sheep.


    Zhanerke Akhatayeva, Haixia Li, Cui Mao, Haijian Cheng, Guoping Zhang, Fugui Jiang, Xianfeng Meng, Yuni Yao, Xianyong Lan, Enliang Song, Dongfu Zhang. Detecting novel Indel variants within the GHR gene and their associations with growth traits in Luxi Blackhead sheep. Animal biotechnology. 2022 Apr;33(2):214-222

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    PMID: 32615865

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