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      A genome-wide SNP-association study confirms a sequence variant (g.66493737C>T) in the equine myostatin ( MSTN) gene as the most powerful predictor of optimum racing distance for Thoroughbred racehorses

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          Abstract

          Background

          Thoroughbred horses have been selected for traits contributing to speed and stamina for centuries. It is widely recognized that inherited variation in physical and physiological characteristics is responsible for variation in individual aptitude for race distance, and that muscle phenotypes in particular are important.

          Results

          A genome-wide SNP-association study for optimum racing distance was performed using the EquineSNP50 Bead Chip genotyping array in a cohort of n = 118 elite Thoroughbred racehorses divergent for race distance aptitude. In a cohort-based association test we evaluated genotypic variation at 40,977 SNPs between horses suited to short distance (≤ 8 f) and middle-long distance (> 8 f) races. The most significant SNP was located on chromosome 18: BIEC2-417495 ~690 kb from the gene encoding myostatin ( MSTN) [ P unadj. = 6.96 × 10 -6]. Considering best race distance as a quantitative phenotype, a peak of association on chromosome 18 (chr18:65809482-67545806) comprising eight SNPs encompassing a 1.7 Mb region was observed. Again, similar to the cohort-based analysis, the most significant SNP was BIEC2-417495 ( P unadj. = 1.61 × 10 -9; P Bonf. = 6.58 × 10 -5). In a candidate gene study we have previously reported a SNP (g.66493737C>T) in MSTN associated with best race distance in Thoroughbreds; however, its functional and genome-wide relevance were uncertain. Additional re-sequencing in the flanking regions of the MSTN gene revealed four novel 3' UTR SNPs and a 227 bp SINE insertion polymorphism in the 5' UTR promoter sequence. Linkage disequilibrium was highest between g.66493737C>T and BIEC2-417495 ( r 2 = 0.86).

          Conclusions

          Comparative association tests consistently demonstrated the g.66493737C>T SNP as the superior variant in the prediction of distance aptitude in racehorses (g.66493737C>T, P = 1.02 × 10 -10; BIEC2-417495, P unadj. = 1.61 × 10 -9). Functional investigations will be required to determine whether this polymorphism affects putative transcription-factor binding and gives rise to variation in gene and protein expression. Nonetheless, this study demonstrates that the g.66493737C>T SNP provides the most powerful genetic marker for prediction of race distance aptitude in Thoroughbreds.

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          Most cited references 24

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          Consed: a graphical tool for sequence finishing.

          Sequencing of large clones or small genomes is generally done by the shotgun approach (Anderson et al. 1982). This has two phases: (1) a shotgun phase in which a number of reads are generated from random subclones and assembled into contigs, followed by (2) a directed, or finishing phase in which the assembly is inspected for correctness and for various kinds of data anomalies (such as contaminant reads, unremoved vector sequence, and chimeric or deleted reads), additional data are collected to close gaps and resolve low quality regions, and editing is performed to correct assembly or base-calling errors. Finishing is currently a bottleneck in large-scale sequencing efforts, and throughput gains will depend both on reducing the need for human intervention and making it as efficient as possible. We have developed a finishing tool, consed, which attempts to implement these principles. A distinguishing feature relative to other programs is the use of error probabilities from our programs phred and phrap as an objective criterion to guide the entire finishing process. More information is available at http:// www.genome.washington.edu/consed/consed. html.
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            A mutation creating a potential illegitimate microRNA target site in the myostatin gene affects muscularity in sheep.

            Texel sheep are renowned for their exceptional meatiness. To identify the genes underlying this economically important feature, we performed a whole-genome scan in a Romanov x Texel F2 population. We mapped a quantitative trait locus with a major effect on muscle mass to chromosome 2 and subsequently fine-mapped it to a chromosome interval encompassing the myostatin (GDF8) gene. We herein demonstrate that the GDF8 allele of Texel sheep is characterized by a G to A transition in the 3' UTR that creates a target site for mir1 and mir206, microRNAs (miRNAs) that are highly expressed in skeletal muscle. This causes translational inhibition of the myostatin gene and hence contributes to the muscular hypertrophy of Texel sheep. Analysis of SNP databases for humans and mice demonstrates that mutations creating or destroying putative miRNA target sites are abundant and might be important effectors of phenotypic variation.
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              Double muscling in cattle due to mutations in the myostatin gene.

              Myostatin (GDF-8) is a member of the transforming growth factor beta superfamily of secreted growth and differentiation factors that is essential for proper regulation of skeletal muscle mass in mice. Here we report the myostatin sequences of nine other vertebrate species and the identification of mutations in the coding sequence of bovine myostatin in two breeds of double-muscled cattle, Belgian Blue and Piedmontese, which are known to have an increase in muscle mass relative to conventional cattle. The Belgian Blue myostatin sequence contains an 11-nucleotide deletion in the third exon which causes a frameshift that eliminates virtually all of the mature, active region of the molecule. The Piedmontese myostatin sequence contains a missense mutation in exon 3, resulting in a substitution of tyrosine for an invariant cysteine in the mature region of the protein. The similarity in phenotypes of double-muscled cattle and myostatin null mice suggests that myostatin performs the same biological function in these two species and is a potentially useful target for genetic manipulation in other farm animals.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Genomics
                BMC Genomics
                BioMed Central
                1471-2164
                2010
                11 October 2010
                : 11
                : 552
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Animal Genomics Laboratory, School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
                [2 ]Equinome Ltd., NovaUCD, Belfield Innovation Park, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
                [3 ]Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
                Article
                1471-2164-11-552
                10.1186/1471-2164-11-552
                3091701
                20932346
                Copyright ©2010 Hill et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Genetics

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