Mura, Maria Consuelo and Luridiana, Sebastiano and Bodano, Sara and Daga, Cinzia and Cosso, Giovanni and Diaz, Maria Luisa and Bini, Pier Paolo and Carcangiu, Vincenzo (2014) Influence of melatonin receptor 1A gene polymorphisms on seasonal reproduction in Sarda ewes with different body condition scores and ages. Animal Reproduction Science, Vol. 149 (3-4), p. 173-177. ISSN 0378-4320. Article.
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In several species, circadian changes in melatonin concentrations play a key role in the photoperiodic control of seasonality. In sheep, two silent mutations in the melatonin receptor 1A gene (MTNR1A) at positions 606 and 612 of the exon II are associated with seasonal reproduction. However, in some sheep breeds, no relationships have been found between MTNR1A polymorphisms and reproductive seasonality. This lack of relationship could be due to effects of breed, body condition, age, and/or environmental conditions. Thus, the present study was conducted with the Sarda sheep breed with the aim of documenting the effect of MTNR1A gene polymorphisms on reproductive resumption and to evaluate whether such this effect was modified by differences in body condition score (BCS) and age. Six hundred three- to six-year-old multiparous ewes with BCSs between 2.5 and 3.5 were selected. Genomic DNA was extracted and subjected to PCR to amplify the ovine exon II of the MTNR1A gene. The amplicons were subjected to digestion with the restriction enzymes RsaI and MnlI to detect the T606C and A612G polymorphisms, respectively. Ewes carrying the G/G, G/A, C/C, and C/T genotypes exhibited higher fertility rates (P < 0.05) and fewer numbers of days between the introduction of rams and parturition (P < 0.05) than did the A/A and T/T genotypes. The data revealed that the MTNR1A gene polymorphisms influenced spring reproductive resumption in the Sarda sheep breed. Moreover, the data also indicated that, over the limited ranges evaluated in this study, BCS and age had no significant influence on reproductive activity.
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