Association analysis of nucleotide polymorphisms in growth hormone (GH) and its receptor (GHR) with body weight in Californian rabbits




Californian rabbits, growth hormone gene, growth hormone receptor gene, SNPs, PCR-RFLP, body weight


The objective of the present study was to evaluate the influence of the genotypes of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) – c.78C>T located in the growth hormone gene (GH) and c.106C>G in the growth hormone receptor gene (GHR) on individual body weight (IBW) during the growing period at 35, 70 and 90 d of age on a total of 107 weaned Californian breed rabbits. The restriction fragments obtained revealed that 74.8% of the rabbits carrying c.78C>T SNP and 52.3% of the rabbits carrying c.106C>G SNP were heterozygous, which indicated a moderate level of genetic diversity in this Californian population. Association analysis based on a single-gene approach revealed that c.78C>T polymorphism in the GH gene had a significant effect (P<0.05) on the weight at 70 and 90 d of age. The highest IBW (2530.4±66.6 g) was observed in rabbits carrying the c.78C>T TT genotype, and detected individuals were significantly affected by the dominance effect. Significant differences were observed between individuals with homozygous c.106C>G CC genotype and those with heterozygous CG genotype. The highest IBW (2462.0±198.3 g) was observed in rabbits carrying the c.106C>G CC genotype and detected individuals were significantly affected by the additive effect. A total of nine combined genotypes of c.78C>T and c.106C>G SNPs was found in the study, of which only four major groups (CT/CC, CC/CG, CT/CG, and CT/GG) were concerned in the diplotype analysis. Significant differences were observed between individuals with CT/CC and CC/CG genotype combinations, and between those with the CC/CG and CT/GG diplotypes. However, the highest IBW at 90 d of age (2447.2±213.8 g) was observed in rabbits carrying the CT/CC genotype combinations. The highest coefficient of determination found for individual body weight at 90 d of age (R2=10.8%) indicated a high effect of genotype combinations. In conclusion, the results obtained suggested that c.78C>T of GH gene and c.106C>G of GHR gene could be useful candidate genes to improve growth performance in Californian rabbits with potential application in rabbit breeding programmes.


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Author Biographies

Deyana Gencheva Gencheva, Trakia University

Department of Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, Faculty of Agriculture Chief ass. proff, Ph.D. of Genetics

Krasimir Petrov Velikov, Agricultural Academy Stara Zagora

Agricultural Institute, Agricultural Academy, Stara Zagora, Chief assistant prof., PhD

Petya Marinova Veleva, Trakia University

Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture Chief assistant prof., PhD


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