National Engineering Laboratory for Animal Breeding, Beijing Key Laboratory of Animal Genetic Improvement, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China. [Email]
Dwarfism is a condition defined by low harvest weight in fish, but also results in strange body figures which may have potential for the selective breeding of new ornamental fish strains. The objectives of this study are to reveal the physiological causes of dwarfism and identify the genetic loci controlling this trait in the white sailfin molly. Skeletons of dwarf and normal sailfin mollies were observed by X-ray radioscopy and skeletal staining. Genome-wide association studies based on genotyping-by-sequencing (n = 184) were used to map candidate genomic regions associated with the dwarfism trait. Quantitative real-time PCR was performed to determine the expression level of candidate genes in normal (n = 8) and dwarf (n = 8) sailfin mollies. We found that the dwarf sailfin molly has a short and dysplastic spine in comparison to the normal fish. Two regions, located at NW_015112742.1 and NW_015113621.1, were significantly associated with the dwarfism trait. The expression level of three candidate genes, ADAMTS like 1, Larp7 and PPP3CA, were significantly different between the dwarf and normal sailfin mollies in the hepatopancreas, with PPP3CA also showing significant differences in the vertebrae and Larp7 showing significant differences in the muscle. This study identified genomic regions and candidate genes associated with the dwarfism trait in the white sailfin molly and would provide a reference to determine dwarf-causing variations.