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Effects of genetic variants of the bovine WNT8A gene on nine important growth traits in beef cattle

Huang, Yong-Zhen, Zou, Yong, Lin, Qing, He, Hua, Zheng, Li, Zhang, Zi-Jing, Dang, Yong-Long, Lei, Chu-Zhao, Lan, Xian-Yong, Qi, Xing-Shan, Chen, Hong
Journal of genetics 2017 v.96 no.4 pp. 535-544
carcinogenesis, growth traits, proteins, restriction fragment length polymorphism, marker-assisted selection, haplotypes, hips, body weight, DNA, polymerase chain reaction, beef cattle, breeding programs, body length, cattle breeding, genetic variation, exons, introns, genetic markers, single nucleotide polymorphism
WNT-ß-catenin-TCF pathway is involved in carcinogenesis and foetal development. As a member of the WNT gene family, Wnt8A encodes secreted signalling proteins and responds to many biological processes. However, similar research on the effects of genetic variations of Wnt8A gene on growth traits is lacking. Therefore, in this study, polymorphisms of Wnt8A were detected in 396 animals from Chinese Qinchuan cattle using DNA pool sequencing and PCR-RFLP methods. Four novel single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of Wnt8A gene were identified, including three mutations in introns (g.T-445C, g.G244C and g.G910A) and one in exon (g.T4922C). Additionally, we examined the associations of four SNPs with growth traits. The results revealed that SNP2 (g.G244C) was significantly associated with shoulder height, hip height, body length, hip width, and body weight ([Formula: see text]). SNP3 (g.G910A) also displayed notable effects on hip width ([Formula: see text]). Meanwhile, the haplotype combination CC-GC-GA-CC was strongly associated with heavier, taller and longer animals ([Formula: see text]). These results show that the Wnt8A gene may be a potential candidate gene, and the SNPs could be used as molecular markers in early marker-assisted selection in beef cattle breeding programmes.