Submitted to: Annual International Plant & Animal Genome Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2016
Publication Date: 1/14/2017
Citation: Heaton, M.P., Smith, T.P., Kalbfleisch, T.S. 2017. Using an online genome resource to identify myostatin variation in U.S. sheep [abstract]. International Plant & Animal Genome XXV Conference, January 14-18, 2017, San Diego, CA. Poster #P1147.
Technical Abstract: We created a public, searchable DNA sequence resource for sheep that contained approximately 14x whole genome sequence of 96 rams. The animals represent 10 popular U.S. breeds and share minimal pedigree relationships, making the resource suitable for viewing gene variants in the user-friendly Integrated Genome Viewer (IGV) environment. To illustrate its use, the DNA sequence reads were viewed for myostatin, a gene encoding a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth. Two putative functional variants were observed, both of which had been reported previously. One variant creates a binding site for a miRNA in the 3’UTR that reduces the abundance of myostatin protein. The other variant changes a glutamate (E) residue to glycine (G) at position 34. By viewing these variants in IGV, it was simple to estimate their frequencies in these 96 rams. The 3’UTR variant allele was homozygous in 9 of 10 Texel rams, while G34 carriers were present in Dorset, Navajo Churro, Rambouillet, and USMARC composite breeds. In addition, one Dorset ram was homozygous for the G34 allele. The strict evolutionary conservation of the E34 allele throughout the Amniota clade of tetrapods, combined with the multi-breed distribution of the putative reduced function G34 allele in sheep, is consistent with the hypothesis that the G34 allele could interfere with myostatin function and positively affect muscle growth in U.S. sheep. This study provides a new resource for discovering potentially functional variants, and making initial rapid in silico estimates of allele frequency among U.S. breeds.