Association between JY-1 gene polymorphisms and reproductive traits in beef cattle
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Reproductive traits have a high economic value and it is interesting to include them in the selection objectives of an animal breeding program. These traits generally show low heritability and molecular markers may therefore be used in genetic evaluations to improve the accuracy of predictions. The JY-1 gene is expressed in the oocyte and it is associated with folliculogenesis and early embryo development. It has been suggested to affect reproductive traits. In this study, exons 1 and 2 of the JY-1 gene were studied in 385 Nellore females by PCR-sequencing. Seventeen polymorphisms were identified. After analysis of linkage disequilibrium, association tests were performed between eight SNPs and the occurrence of early pregnancy, age at first calving, days to calving, and reconception of primiparous heifers. Seven SNPs were significant for three traits. The most significant was chr29:12,999 T/A (p = 0.003) which was associated with the occurrence of early pregnancy. This SNP might be involved in protein translation inhibition since it affects the initial methionine codon. The JY-1, an oocyte specific gene, influences reproductive traits; further studies investigating other regions of the gene or other genes expressed in tissues of the female reproductive system would be interesting to be performed. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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