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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Identification and Characterization of a New Allele for the Beta Subunit of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone in Chinese Pig Breeds

item Rohrer, Gary
item Wise, Thomas
item Ford, Johny

Submitted to: Animal Genetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 21, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is central for development and maintenance of activity of mamnmalian gonads. In swine, the Meishan breed is noted for early puberty and large litters. A component of our research program is to understand differences in reproductive processes in Meishan and U.S. breeds of pigs. In the current study we determined that messenger rRNA for the FSH-beta subunit differed between Meishan and White composite pigs. Subsequent research will investigate the impact of this difference.

Technical Abstract: Expression of FSH-beta was evaluated in anterior pituitary glands by an RNase protection assay (RPA) that protected a fragment of 205 nucleotides at positions 759-963. The expected fragment was not detected in one boar that had moderate plasma and pituitary FSH concentrations. After subcloning and sequencing, it was determined that this boar lacked an 11 bp pfragment (5'-CATTTGGAAAC-3') at nucleotide positions 807-817 of the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of FSH-beta mRNA (FSH beta deletion; delta) in comparison with the reported FSH-beta allele. To establish the origin of these two FSH-beta mRNA alleles, individual straightbred MS and WC pigs were examined at both the pituitary RNA and genomic DNA levels. The wild type FSH-beta mRNA was present in both breeds (4/6 MS vs. 6/6 WC) while the delta-FSH-beta mRNA was present only in MS pigs (P<0.01; 6/6 MS vs. 0/6 WC). Genetic pedigree and mapping analyses indicated that this 11-bp deletion at the 3'-UTR represents a newly identified FSH-beta allele. Also, we found the delta-FSH beta allele was present in two other Chinese pig breeds (Fengjing: 3/5 and Minzhu: 5/8). Cloning and sequencing of the cDNA for the coding region of the delta-FSH-beta allele indicated that no amino acid residues were altered. There was one inconsequential nucleotide change in the coding region plus six, single nucleotide changes in the 3'-UTR. In summary, we identified a novel FSH-beta allele that was present in pigs of Chinese origin but absent in the European pig breeds that were evaluated.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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