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Melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene polymorphisms in three Italian cattle breeds

Guastella, Anna Maria and Sorbolini, Silvia and Zuccaro, Antonio and Pintus, Elia and Bordonaro, Salvatore and Marletta, Donata and Macciotta, Nicolò Pietro Paolo (2011) Melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene polymorphisms in three Italian cattle breeds. Animal Production Science, Vol. 51 (11), p. 1039-1043. eISSN 1836-5787. Article.

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DOI: 10.1071/AN11070


The Melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) is one of the main genes implicated in the determination of the coat colour in mammals. This locus showed a relevant genetic variation between breeds that can be exploited for breed traceability of the animal productions. Modicana, Cinisara and Sardo-Modicana are three Italian endangered cattle breeds. Genetic characterisation by molecular markers is a fundamental prerequisite for managing genetic resources and for developing potential genetic traceability protocols. In order to improve the knowledge on Modicana, Cinisara and Sardo-Modicana breeds and to evaluate the possibility to develop DNA-based protocols for their mono-breeds products traceability, the genetic structure of MC1R gene was analysed. Four main alleles were observed in a representative sample of 162 animals. In the black coated Cinisara breed (n = 42), the ED and E+ alleles segregated with a frequency of 0.93 for ED allele. In the red coated Modicana (n = 60) and Sardo-Modicana (n = 60) breeds the E+ and E1 alleles segregated with frequencies of 0.42, 0.57 and 0.52, 0.47, respectively. The recessive allele e showed a low frequency (0.01) in both breeds. Sequencing a subsample of 34 animals the rare E2 allele was found only in Modicana and Sardo-Modicana at a good frequency (0.50). A new PCR-RFLP test, based on BstOI restriction endonuclease, was devised to assay for this allele. Results of the work indicate that red coat in Modicana and Sardo-Modicana cattle is genetically determined by the E+ and E1 alleles instead of the e allele at homozygote status, as occurs in other red European breeds. In these three Italian breeds of local importance, MC1R polymorphisms can be used to discriminate Cinisara from Modicana and Sardo-Modicana, but it was not able to distinguish between the two red coat populations.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:6639
Uncontrolled Keywords:Breed traceability, Cinisara, coat colour gene, genetic diversity, Modicana, Sardo-Modicana
Subjects:Area 07 - Scienze agrarie e veterinarie > AGR/17 Zootecnica generale e miglioramento genetico
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01 Dipartimenti > Scienze zootecniche
Publisher:CSIRO Publishing
Deposited On:22 Nov 2011 16:59

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