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PLoS Genet. 2007 May 25;3(5):e79. Epub 2007 Apr 30.

A mutation in the myostatin gene increases muscle mass and enhances racing performance in heterozygote dogs.

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  • 1National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.

Abstract

Double muscling is a trait previously described in several mammalian species including cattle and sheep and is caused by mutations in the myostatin (MSTN) gene (previously referred to as GDF8). Here we describe a new mutation in MSTN found in the whippet dog breed that results in a double-muscled phenotype known as the "bully" whippet. Individuals with this phenotype carry two copies of a two-base-pair deletion in the third exon of MSTN leading to a premature stop codon at amino acid 313. Individuals carrying only one copy of the mutation are, on average, more muscular than wild-type individuals (p = 7.43 x 10(-6); Kruskal-Wallis Test) and are significantly faster than individuals carrying the wild-type genotype in competitive racing events (Kendall's nonparametric measure, tau = 0.3619; p approximately 0.00028). These results highlight the utility of performance-enhancing polymorphisms, marking the first time a mutation in MSTN has been quantitatively linked to increased athletic performance.

PMID:
17530926
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1877876
Free PMC Article
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