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Genet Mol Res. 2013 Dec 11;12(4):6602-10. doi: 10.4238/2013.December.11.11.

Genetic polymorphisms of the IGF-II gene intron 8 coding region and its association with growth and carcass traits in yak.

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  • 1College of Veterinary Medicine, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, China.


Insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) plays a key role in mammalian growth and is involved in stimulating fetal cell division, differentiation, and metabolic regulation. IGF-II is considered a candidate gene for genetic markers of growth and carcass traits. Therefore, in this study, the associations of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the IGF-II gene region with growth and carcass characteristics in five yak breeds were investigated. Two SNPs, G(330)C and A(358)G, were identified by sequencing intron 8 of the IGF-II gene in homozygotes. Two alleles, A and B, and three genotypes, AA, AB, and BB, were identified by polymerase chain reaction. Genotypic frequencies of IGF-II allele B were 0.8623, 0.8936, 0.8535, 0.8676, and 0.8300 for Datong yak, Gannan yak, Tianzhu white yak, Qinghai Plateau yak, and Xinjiang yak, respectively. Allele and the genotype of IGF-II were strongly associated with growth and carcass traits. Least square analysis revealed a significant effect (P < 0.01) of genotypes AA and AB compared with genotype BB on live-weight (at 12, 13-24, and 25-36 months of age), average daily weight gain (P < 0.01) and carcass weight (P < 0.05). Animals with genotype AB had a higher mean rib eye area, and a lower mean yield grade. The results indicated that the IGF-II gene acts by a primarily additive biological mechanism by adding weight independently of skeletal growth.

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