Polymorphism identification in goatGNRH1andGDF9genes and their association analysis with litter size

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This study investigated the polymorphisms of GNRH1 and GDF9 genes in 641 goats of three breeds: Xinong Saanen, Guanzhong and Boer. Two allelic variants were identified in the GNRH1 gene (JN645280:g.3548A>G and JN645281:g.3699G>A) and one allelic variant was found in the GDF9 gene (JN655693:g.4093G>A). Furthermore, g.4093G>A was a missense mutation (p.Val397Ile of GDF9). Results of an association analysis indicated that SNPs g.3548A>G and g.4093G>A had significant effects on litter size (P < 0.05). The combination genotypes of SNPs g.3548A>G, g.3699G>A and g.4093G>A also affected litter size with the C5 genotype having the highest litter size in the first, third, fourth and average parity. Hence, the biochemical and physiological functions, together with the results obtained in our investigation, suggest that the GNRH1 and GDF9 genes could serve as genetic markers for litter size in goat breeding.

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