Sperm-associated antigen 17 (SPAG17
) gene encodes a multifunctional cytoplasmic protein, which influences not only reproduction but also skeletal development related body measurement traits, especially body height. Thus, this study aimed to identify crucial insertion-deletion (indel) variations, which influence the body measurement traits of goats in large goat populations (n = 1725). As a result, two intronic indels (14 bp and 17 bp indel) were identified by sequencing. For the two indel loci, the distributions of genotypes and alleles were significantly different between the Shaanbei white cashmere goat (SBWC) and the Hainan black goat (HNBG). In SBWC goats, the different genotypes of the 14 bp indel were markedly associated with goat body height, chest width, body length and chest depth. The genotypes of the 17 bp indel were significantly related to body height and chest width. At the two loci, for all seven analyzed traits of SBWC goat, the growth data of DD homozygotes were the worst, which means that the 14 bp insertion and the 17 bp deletion were beneficial and detrimental variations, respectively. Moreover, the combined genotypes were significantly related to body height and chest width of SBWC goats and ten traits of HNBG. These results suggested that the 14 and 17 bp indels within SPAG17
can be used in goat growth related traits marker-assisted selection breeding, especially body height.
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