Free Access
Genet. Sel. Evol.
Volume 38, Number 4, July-August 2006
Page(s) 431 - 444
Published online 23 June 2006
Genet. Sel. Evol. 38 (2006) 431-444
DOI: 10.1051/gse:2006013

OLA-DRB1 microsatellite variants are associated with ovine growth and reproduction traits

Hermann Geldermann, Manzoor R. Mir, Andreas W. Kuss and Heinz Bartenschlager

Department of Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, University of Hohenheim, D-70593 Stuttgart, Germany

(Received 22 March 2005; accepted 8 February 2006; published online 23 June 2006)

Abstract - The DRB1 intron 2 (GT)$_{\rm n}$(GA)$_{\rm m}$ microsatellite was genotyped in experimental flocks of seven Merinoland rams and 249 ewes as well as their offspring (381 lambs) from consecutive lambings. A total of 16 DRB1 alleles were detected, ranging between 353 and 857 bp. In comparison with carriers of other alleles, the ewes carrying the predominant 411 bp allele had higher values of all the recorded fertility traits. For ewes carrying the 394 and 857 bp alleles, the birth weight of lambs was about 400 g higher as compared to the residual group of ewes. The observed associations could be due to differences in disease resistance, cell recognition or tissue differentiation between carriers of various MHC haplotypes which can in turn affect individual fertility and growth performance.

Key words: DRB1 / microsatellites / growth / reproduction / sheep

Correspondence and reprints:

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006