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Open AccessArticle

The Distribution Characteristics of a 19-bp Indel of the PLAG1 Gene in Chinese Cattle

1
Key Laboratory of Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction of Shaanxi Province, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Xianyang 712100, China
2
Yunnan Academy of Grassland and Animal Science, Kunming 650212, China
3
Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Anhui Academy of Agriculture Science, Hefei 230001, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1082; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121082
Received: 29 October 2019 / Revised: 29 November 2019 / Accepted: 3 December 2019 / Published: 4 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
Growth traits are important quantitative traits for cattle performance, which influences herd productivity. Previous studies demonstrated that a 19-bp indel in pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1) is associated with bovine growth traits. In our studies, the distribution of the 19-bp indel of PLAG1 gene among 37 Chinese cattle breeds and the association between this indel and growth traits of Yunling cattle were explored. As a result, we found that the average body height of various Chinese cattle breeds showed an increasing trend from south to north of China, which was consistent with the distribution trend of the 19-bp indel in cattle at different geographic latitudes. Moreover, this indel was verified to be significantly associated with the growth traits of Yunling cattle. Our results showed that the 19-bp indel in PLAG1 strongly influences body size in Chinese cattle.
Pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1) belongs to the PLAG family of zinc finger transcription factors. In cattle, a 19-bp insertion/deletion (indel) was identified in intron 1 of the PLAG1 gene (GenBank Accession No. AC_000171.1). Researches showed that the indel is polymorphic in Chinese cattle breeds such as Qinchuan cattle, Pinan cattle, Xianan cattle, and Jiaxian red cattle, and correlation analysis showed that the polymorphism is related to the height of these cattle breeds. Chinese cattle breeds show a difference in height related to geographical distribution. We investigated the distribution of the 19-bp indel polymorphism in 37 cattle breeds, including 1354 individuals. The results showed that there were three genotypes and two alleles (W, 366 bp; D, 347 bp). From northern cattle to southern cattle, the frequency of W allele gradually decreased, while the frequency of D allele showed an opposite trend, which was consistent with the distribution of cattle breeds of different height in China. Therefore, the polymorphism of this indel may be related to the regional distribution of cattle breeds in China. In addition, we chose Yunling cattle with a mixed genetic background to study the genetic effects of the 19-bp indel on body size traits. Statistical analysis showed that PLAG1 was significantly associated with the body height, cross height, and chest circumference of Yunling cattle (p < 0.05). This study provides new evidence that the 19-bp indel of the PLAG1 gene is a highly effective trait marker that can be used as a candidate molecular marker for cattle breeding.
Keywords: cattle; growth traits; indel; PLAG1 gene; polymorphism cattle; growth traits; indel; PLAG1 gene; polymorphism
MDPI and ACS Style

Zhou, Z.; Huang, B.; Lai, Z.; Li, S.; Wu, F.; Qu, K.; Jia, Y.; Hou, J.; Liu, J.; Lei, C.; Dang, R. The Distribution Characteristics of a 19-bp Indel of the PLAG1 Gene in Chinese Cattle. Animals 2019, 9, 1082.

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