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Postnatal expression of myostain (<i>MSTN</i>) and myogenin (<i>MYoG</i>) genes in Hu sheep of China

W Sun
D Li
P Wang
HH Musa
JT Ding
WJ Guan
MX Chu
L Chen
YF Zhang
H Zhou


The study of candidate genes is an important tool to identify genes associated with economic traits. Skeletal muscle development is an important physiological process in meat animals, and it directly affects meat production. The expression of myostain (MSTN) and myogenin (MYoG) genes in longissimus dorsi, during the early growth stage of Hu sheep, was studied by semi-quantitative Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The results demonstrate that age and gender were playing a very important role in the expression of sheep muscle. MSTN and MYOG genes showed similar variation pattern for the male and female. The expression level of the MSTN and MYoG genes all showed a positive correlation with live weight, carcass weight and meat percentage, but only showed a significant relationship with meat percentage. MSTN gene showed an extreme significant positive relationship with MYoG.

Key words: Sheep, myostain (MSTN), myogenin (MYoG), gene expression, muscle trait.