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Anim Biosci > Volume 34(4); 2021 > Article
Animal Breeding and Genetics
Animal Bioscience 2021;34(4): 489-498.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.19.0989    Published online June 24, 2020.
A missense mutation in the coding region of the toll-like receptor 4 gene affects milk traits in Barki sheep
Ahmed M. Sallam1,* 
Animal and Poultry Production Division, Desert Research Center, Cairo 11735, Egypt
Correspondence:  Ahmed M. Sallam, Tel: + 20-2-263-74800, Fax: +20-2-263-7858, Email: ahmedsallam2@gmail.com
Received: 30 December 2019   • Revised: 12 March 2020   • Accepted: 14 June 2020
Milk production is one of the most desirable traits in livestock. Recently, the toll-like receptor (TLR) has been identified as a candidate gene for milk traits in cows. So far, there is no information concerning the contribution of this gene in milk traits in sheep. This study was designed to investigate the TLR 4 gene polymorphisms in Barki ewes in Egypt and then correlate that with milk traits in order to identify potential single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for these traits in sheep.
A part of the ovine TLR 4 gene was amplified in Barki ewes, to identify the SNPs. Consequently; Barki ewes were genotyped using polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism protocol. These genotypes were correlated with milk traits, which were the daily milk yield (DMY), protein percentage (PP), fat percentage (FP), lactose percentage, and total solid percentage (TSP).
Age and parity of the ewe had a significant effect (p<0.05 or p<0.01) on DMY, FP, and TSP. The direct sequencing identified a missense mutation located in the coding sequence of the gene (rs592076818; c.1710C>A) and was predicted to change the amino acid sequence of the resulted protein (p.Asn570Lys). The association analyses suggested a significant effect (p<0.05) of the TLR genotype on the FP and PP, while the DMY tended to be influenced as well (p = 0.07). Interestingly, the presence of the G allele tended to increase the DMY (+40.5 g/d) and significantly (p<0.05 or p<0.01) decreased the FP (–1.11%), PP (–1.21%), and TSP (–7.98%).
The results of this study suggested the toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) as a candidate gene to improve milk traits in sheep worldwide, which will enhance the ability to understand the genetic architecture of genes underlying SNPs that affect such traits.
Keywords: Association Analysis; Milk Traits; Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP); Single Strand Conformation Polymorphism (SSCP)

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