A study of major prolificacy genes in Malin and Dorper sheep in Malaysia

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W.M.Z. Wan Somarny, A.R. Roziatul Erin, A.H.M.S. Suhaimi, M.O. Nurulhuda
and R. Mohd Hifzan

Abstract

High prolificacy in some sheep breeds was due to mutation in FecB and FecX genes. The mutations of these genes were associated with an increase in ovulation rate, litter size and the number of follicles in the ovaries. The FecB gene was present in some high prolific breeds but absent in low prolific sheep breeds. The objective of this study was to verify the presence of these prolificacy genes and identify if the genes are polymorphic in Malin and Dorper sheep. Five prolificacy genes, FecB, FecXI, FecXH, FecXB and FecXG were screened in Malin and Dorper sheep. Four genes were successfully amplified by PCR except for FecXG, which failed to amplify in all samples tested. Analysis of PCR products by Forced Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism PCR (PCR RFLP) showed the absence of FecB and FecX gene mutations after the samples were digested with enzymes. From the analysis carried out, it was shown that Malin and Dorper sheep were homozygous non-carriers for Booroola FecB and FecX gene mutations. Based on these findings, both Malin and Dorper sheep breeds can be
considered as low prolificacy sheep breeds.

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