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Animals 2018, 8(10), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100160

Molecular Cloning of the B4GALNT2 Gene and Its Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms Association with Litter Size in Small Tail Han Sheep

1
Key Laboratory of Animal Genetics and Breeding and Reproduction of Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China
2
Tianjin Institute of Animal Sciences, Tianjin 300381, China
These authors contributed equally to this study.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 1 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 20 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Simple Summary

In French Lacaune sheep, the B4GALNT2 (beta-1, 4-N-acetyl-galactosaminyl transferase 2) gene was considered as the potential gene for a FecL (mutation), which regulates the ovine ovulation rate. Three specific mutation sites linked with the FecL mutation have not been previously found in 11 sheep breeds. However, two mutations of g.36946470C > T and g.36933082C > T in the exon of B4GALNT2 were found to have had a significant effect on the litter size in the first parity for Small Tail Han (STH) Sheep (p < 0.05). B4GALNT2, which is mainly expressed in ovine ovary, also plays an important role in sheep reproduction. Furthermore, we discovered two transcription start sites (TSS) of B4GALNT2 in its 5′-flanking region in ovine granule cells in vitro.

Abstract

A new fecundity gene named the FecL (mutation), which regulates the ovulation rate, was discovered in French Lacaune sheep. The B4GALNT2 (beta-1, 4-N-acetyl-galactosaminyl transferase 2) gene was considered as the potential FecL mutation gene. This study explores whether the effect of the FecL mutation exists in other sheep breeds, and the features of the B4GALNT2 gene in terms of the molecular structure and its expression profile. Using Sanger sequencing, we found that high and low fecundity breeds from among 11 measured sheep breeds all had no variation in the three specific mutation sites, which were linked with the FecL mutation. However, two mutations of g.36946470C > T and g.36933082C > T in the exon of B4GALNT2 had a significant effect on litter size in the first parity for Small Tail Han (STH) Sheep (p < 0.05). Two transcription start sites (TSS) of B4GALNT2 in its 5′-flanking region were discovered in ovine granule cells in vitro, through the RACE (Rapid amplification of cDNA ends) method. Except for in the kidney and oviduct, no significant difference in expression levels had been found between STH sheep and Tan sheep breeds. The B4GALNT2 gene, as a candidate for FecL, may have a relationship with the differences in litter size in STH sheep. B4GALNT2 is mainly expressed in the ovine ovary, which also suggests that B4GALNT2 plays an important role in sheep reproduction. View Full-Text
Keywords: FecL mutation; B4GALNT2 gene; RACE; expression profile; litter size FecL mutation; B4GALNT2 gene; RACE; expression profile; litter size
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Guo, X.; Wang, X.; Liang, B.; Di, R.; Liu, Q.; Hu, W.; He, X.; Zhang, J.; Zhang, X.; Chu, M. Molecular Cloning of the B4GALNT2 Gene and Its Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms Association with Litter Size in Small Tail Han Sheep. Animals 2018, 8, 160.

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