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Cryptochrome 2 (Cry2) gene regulates circadian rhythm and affects reproduction and pregnancy. Therefore, this study aimed to explore polymorphisms of the Cry2 gene and their associations with litter size at different parity in Australian White (AuW) ewes. Five putative insertion or deletion mutations within the Cry2 gene were selected to study their association with litter size. Two novel deletion mutations were identified in intronic region of Cry2 gene and were genotyped by agarose gel electrophoresis and DNA sequencing. The polymorphism information content (PIC) indicated that both mutations were low polymorphism in tested groups. Statistical analysis revealed that the P1-Del-6-bp was significantly correlated with litter size at third parity (P = 0.010), in which individuals with insertion/deletion (ID) genotype had larger litter size than insertion/insertion (II) genotype (P < 0.05). Whereas, the P2-Del-6-bp was significantly correlated with litter size at first parity (P = 0.036), in which individuals with insertion/insertion (II) genotype had larger litter size than insertion/deletion (ID) genotype (P < 0.05). Collectively, these findings may provide new insights to expedite molecular breeding in sheep through marker-assisted selection strategies (MAS). Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Yangming Huang, Peng Su, Zhanerke Akhatayeva, Chuanying Pan, Qingfeng Zhang, Xianyong Lan. Novel InDel variations of the Cry2 gene are associated with litter size in Australian White sheep. Theriogenology. 2022 Feb;179:155-161

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PMID: 34875538

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