Leptin hormone, encoded by LEP gene, has significant importance in regulating various functions like growth, puberty, reproduction and milk production in both animals and humans. The sequence variations have been studied, reported and associated with many growth traits like weaning weight, six month body weight and nine-month body weight etc. in cattle, buffalo, goat and sheep worldwide. LEP gene polymorphism and associations have not been extensively reported in Lohi sheep of Pakistan, so this study aimed to find any variations in gene sequence and possible association with growth rate to explore meat potential of this breed. A total of 18 Lohi animals were selected from the flock. After the DNA extraction from blood samples, a 1486 bp fragment of exon three was amplified and sequenced. Sequence analysis revealed single nucleotide polymorphism (T>A at position 483) and a sheterozygous condition (T>W at position 483). Generalized linear model was used to minimize the environmental effects. The variation i.e. “W” type heterozygous condition showed a higher average daily weight gain. Sequence analysis of LEP gene confirmed the presence of genetic variability among Lohi animals; this variation might be associated with other economic traits for future breeding programs and marker assisted selection.
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