Polymorphisms in the ghrelin gene and their associations with milk yield and quality in water buffaloes


Ghrelin is a gastrointestinal hormone that acts in releasing growth hormone and influences the body general metabolism. It has been proposed as a candidate gene for traits such as growth, carcass quality, and milk production of livestock because it influences feed intake. In this context, the aim of this study was to verify the existence of polymorphisms in the ghrelin gene and their associations with milk, fat and protein yield, and percentage in water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis). A group of 240 animals was studied. Five primer pairs were used and 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) were found in the ghrelin gene by sequencing. The animals were genotyped for 8 SNP by PCR-RFLP. The SNP g.960G>A and g.778C>T were associated with fat yield and the SNP g.905T>C was associated with fat yield and percentage and protein percentage. These SNP are located in intronic regions of DNA and may be in noncoding RNA sites or affect transcriptional efciency. The ghrelin gene in buffaloes influences milk fat and protein synthesis. The polymorphisms observed can be used as molecular markers to assist selection. © 2013 American Dairy Science Association.



Bubalus bubalis, Fat, Protein, Single nucleotide polymorphism, Animalia, Bubalus

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Journal of Dairy Science, v. 96, n. 5, p. 3326-3331, 2013.