Polymorphism of the VEGF gene and its association with growth traits in four goat breeds
The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a regulator of angiogenesis which is an important physiological adaptation to increased metabolic demand. Thus, mutations of this gene may exert a significant influence on animal growth. We screened the exons of the caprine VEGF gene using PCR-SSCP and DNA sequencing methods in 459 individuals from four goat breeds to identify sequence variations that may have an effect on protein structure and function, and might be related to different phenotypes of growth traits. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (GU014696:g.49 G>C and GU014696:g.270G>A) were identified in the P3 locus of the caprine VEGF gene. Significant associations were observed between the genotypes of the P3 locus and body length, body height and chest circumference. Individuals with genotype P3-B had a significantly longer body length and higher body height than individuals containing genotype P3-AB. Thus, animals of genotype P3-AB should be culled in a selection programme for fast growth. It is suggested that P3-B could be used as a molecular marker in marker-assisted selection (MAS).
Keywords: VEGF gene, caprine, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), genetic variation, PCR-SSCP