Nucleotide Sequence Variation in the Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 Gene Affects Growth and Carcass Traits in New Zealand Romney Sheep.


Li S(1)(2), Zhou H(1)(2)(3), Zhao F(1)(2), Fang Q(2)(3), Wang J(1)(2), Liu X(1)(2), Luo Y(1)(2), Hickford JGH(2)(3).
Author information:
(1)Gansu Key Laboratory of Herbivorous Animal Biotechnology, Faculty of Animal Science and Technology, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, China.
(2)International Science and Technology Cooperation Base of Meat Sheep and Meat Cattle Genetic Improvement in Northwest of China, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, China.
(3)Gene-Marker Laboratory, Faculty of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand.


Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) is a mediator of the effects of growth hormone and polymorphism in the IGF1 gene (IGF1) is reported to affect fat deposition in some livestock species. In this study, nucleotide sequence variation in three regions of ovine IGF1 (part of the 5' flanking region, the exon 3 region, and the exon 4 region) was investigated in 848 New Zealand Romney lambs using PCR-single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analyses to ascertain if single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) existed. Six SNPs were identified across these three regions. The effect of the sequence variation in the exon 3 and exon 4 regions on growth and carcass traits were investigated. One of the PCR-SSCP sequence variants in the exon 3 region was associated with variation in hot carcass weight, carcass fat depth at the 12th rib measured using video imaging and the percentage proportion of leg lean meat, whereas the other was associated with variation in growth rate to weaning. No associations were detected for the other gene regions analyzed. The results suggest that polymorphism in exon 3 of ovine IGF1 has potential for use as a gene-marker for some carcass and growth traits.