Identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms in the bovine follicle-stimulating hormone receptor and effects of genotypes on superovulatory response traits

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In dairy cows, there is evidence that failure to respond to superovulation protocols is a heritable trait. In women, genotyping for the p.N680S single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) gene may help identify poor responders before ovarian stimulation is initiated. Our objectives were to identify SNPs in the coding region of the bovine FSHR gene and to investigate the effect of FSHR genotypes on superovulatory response in Holstein cattle. Sequencing of FSHR exons 1–10 revealed seven SNPs. Three were non-synonymous mutations (c.337C>G, c.871A>G and c.1973C>G). SNP c.337C>G encodes for a proline-to-alanine (p.Pro113Ala) amino acid replacement in the extracellular ligand-binding domain of the receptor. PCR-RFLP analyses showed that homozygous GG Holstein cows present a higher percentage of viable embryos, whereas GG and CG animals have less unfertilised oocytes. SNP c.871A>G results in an isoleucine-to-valine (p.Ile291Val) modification, and homozygous AA animals present lower embryo yield after superovulatory treatments. SNP c.1973C>G corresponds to a threonine-to-serine (p.The658Ser) modification in the intracellular carboxyl-terminal domain of the FSHR protein, and homozygous GG Holstein cows were associated with a lower embryo yield and a higher percentage of unfertilised oocytes. Our results suggest that specific alleles of the bovine FSHR gene are associated with variations in embryo yield and in the number of unfertilised oocytes.

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