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A Systematic Review of Myostatin Gene Variations and their Association with Growth Traits in Sheep

A Systematic Review of Myostatin Gene Variations and their Association with Growth Traits in Sheep

Tebogo Letsukulo Percy Thepa, Thobela Louis Tyasi*

School of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Department of Agricultural Economics and Animal Production, University of Limpopo, Private Bag X1106, Sovenga, Limpopo 0727, South Africa.

*Correspondence | Thobela Louis Tyasi, Department of Agricultural Economics and Animal Production City, Polokwane, South Africa; Email:


Myostatin (MSTN), a member of the transforming growth factor superfamily, plays a role in the regulation of skeletal muscle growth and development in animals. The single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the MSTN gene have been implicated with growth parameters in a multitude of livestock species. The aim of the study was to conduct a comprehensive literature evaluation of the association between ovine growth traits and the SNPs of the MSTN gene. Four databases (PubMed, Web of Science, ScienceDirect and Google Scholar) were systematically evaluated using the keywords sheep, MSTN, polymorphism, genetic variation, growth traits, gene polymorphism, skeletal muscle growth, GDF-8, without any year of publication restrictions and 8 studies were found to be eligible. The results indicated that eight (n = 8) publications which were examined observed of 13 unique MSTN SNPs with multiple occurring throughout different breeds and 3 articles identified 4 SNPs which had an association to at least 1 growth trait. The SNP 2379C>T found in the promoter region exhibited significance with 80% of associated results and can potentially be utilised as a candidate genetic in marker assisted selection for growth traits in sheep. In conclusion, this systematic review concludes that there exists a relationship between the SNPs of the MSTN gene and growth traits in sheep and that more research is necessary to explore this relationship in a greater number of growth traits to further understand the relationship that exists. 
Keywords | Genetic variation, Genetic marker, Marker-assisted selection, Sheep breeding, Body weight, Growth rate

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Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences


Vol. 12, Iss. 7, pp. 1206-1409


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