Molecular markers for thermo-tolerance are associated with reproductive and physiological traits in Pelibuey ewes raised in a semiarid environment

Candelario A. Castillo-Salas, Guillermo Luna-Nevárez, Javier R. Reyna-Granados, Rosa I. Luna-Ramirez, Sean W. Limesand, Pablo Luna-Nevárez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pelibuey sheep exhibit reproductive activity through the year, but warm weather lowers their fertility and demonstrates physiological limitations of environmental heat stress. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with heat stress tolerance in sheep have been reported previously. The objective was to validate the association of seven thermo-tolerance SNP markers with reproductive and physiological traits in Pelibuey ewes raised in a semiarid region. Pelibuey ewes were assigned to a cool (January 1st.– March 31st.; n = 101) or warm (April 1st.– August 31st.; n = 104) experimental group. All ewes were exposed to fertile rams and assessed for pregnancy diagnosis 90 days later; lambing day was reported at birth. These data served to calculate the reproductive traits of services per conception, prolificacy, days to estrus, days to conception, conception rate and lambing rate. Rectal temperature, rump/leg skin temperature and respiratory rate were measured and reported as physiological traits. Blood samples were collected and processed to extract DNA, which was genotyped using the TaqMan allelic discrimination method and qPCR. A mixed effects statistical model was used to validate associations between SNP genotypes and phenotypic traits. The SNPs rs421873172, rs417581105 and rs407804467 were confirmed as markers associated with reproductive and physiological traits (P < 0.05), and these SNPs were in the genes PAM, STAT1 and FBXO11, respectively. Interestingly, these SNP markers resulted as predictors for the evaluated traits but only in ewes from the warm group, which indicated their association with heat-stress tolerance. An additive SNP effect was confirmed with the highest contribution (P < 0.01) of the SNP rs417581105 for the evaluated traits. Reproductive performance improved (P < 0.05) and physiological parameters decreased in ewes carrying favorable SNP genotypes. In conclusion, three thermo-tolerance SNP markers were associated with improved reproductive and physiological traits in a prospective population of heat-stressed ewes raised in a semiarid environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103475
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Volume112
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Heat-stress
  • Reproduction
  • SNPs
  • Thermo-tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Developmental Biology

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