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Res Vet Sci. 2006 Jun;80(3):287-90.

Analysis of a polymorphism in the DGAT1 gene in 14 cattle breeds through PCR-SSCP methods.

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  • 1Centro de Investigaciones en Genética Básica y Aplicada, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina. 60 Y 118 S/No. CC 296. B1900AVW, La Plata, Argentina.


The diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase (DGAT1) is a microsomal enzyme that catalyzes the final step of triglyceride synthesis. Recent work have evidenced a significant association between lysine at amino acid position 232 with elevated milk fat content, while an alanine at this position is associated with lowered milk fat content. The aim of the present work was to develop a simple and inexpensive PCR-SSCP assay in order to discriminate the CG/AA alleles in exon 8 of the DGAT1 gene. In addition, this method was used to analyze the polymorphism of the DGAT1 through PCR-SSCP methods in 14 populations of cattle from Argentine, Bolivia and Uruguay. The PCR primers were designed from GenBank reported sequences. In this study, we found three PCR-SSCP variants, which were denominated from "A" to "C". However, DNA sequencing analysis showed that "A" variant corresponded with the A allele, while both "B" and "C" observed pattern have the motif AA at positions 10,433-10,434 (K allele), being two alternative conformations of the same DNA sequence. Both variants were detected within each breed with the exception of Hereford, and the heterozygosity varied between 0.000 and 0.524. The gene frequency analysis evidenced significant differences among the studied breeds (F(ST) = 0.325, p = 0.000). European Bos taurus breeds, with the exception of Jersey breed, showed the lowest frequency of the K allele, while highest K allele frequencies were harboured by Bos indicus type cattle. In addition, unselected South American Creole cattle breeds and the synthetic Brangus breed had intermediate allele frequencies.

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