Uncovering the candidate genes related to sheep body weight using multi-trait genome-wide association analysis

Abstract

In sheep, body weight is an economically important trait. This study sought to map genetic loci related to weaning weight and yearling weight. To this end, a single-trait and multi-trait genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed using a high-density 600 K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip. The results showed that 43 and 56 SNPs were significantly associated with weaning weight and yearling weight, respectively. A region associated with both weaning and yearling traits (OARX: 6.74–7.04 Mb) was identified, suggesting that the same genes could play a role in regulating both these traits. This region was found to contain three genes (TBL1X, SHROOM2 and GPR143). The most significant SNP was Affx-281066395, located at 6.94 Mb (p = 1.70 × 10−17), corresponding to the SHROOM2 gene. We also identified 93 novel SNPs elated to sheep weight using multi-trait GWAS analysis. A new genomic region (OAR10: 76.04–77.23 Mb) with 22 significant SNPs were discovered. Combining transcriptomic data from multiple tissues and genomic data in sheep, we found the HINT1, ASB11 and GPR143 genes may involve in sheep body weight. So, multi-omic anlaysis is a valuable strategy identifying candidate genes related to body weight

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