Polymorphism of MC4R gene in New Zealand White and Californian rabbit breeds

Milena Bozhilova-Sakova1, Denis Viryanski1, Maya Ignatova1, Ivona Dimitrova2
1 Department of Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, Institute of Animal Science, Agricultural Academy, Kostinbrod, Bulgaria
2 Agronomy Faculty, Department of Plant Protection, University of Forestry, Sofia, Bulgaria


Sakova-Bozhilova, M., Viryanski, D., Ignatova, M. & Dimitrova, I. (2023). Polymorphism of MC4R gene in New Zealand White and Californian rabbit breeds. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 29(3), 531–535

The aim of present work was to study the genetic variation of MC4R gene, associated with meat production and body weight in New Zealand White (NZW) and Californian (CA) rabbit breeds. Blood samples were collected from v. saphena of 60 animals (50 does and 10 bucks) from the experimental flocks raised in rabbit farm part of Institute of Animal Science – Kostinbrod, Bulgaria. Blood samples were stored in vacuum tubes at -20°C until DNA purification. The genetic variation was determined by means of PCR-RFLP method, using specific set of primers and restriction enzyme BcuI.In both breeds were identified all three possible genotypes (GG, AG and AA) of MC4R gene, and in both studied breeds the frequency of heterozygous genotype AG was higher than the other genotypes – 0.68 for NZW and 0.53 for CA. The mutant genotype AA was with lowest frequency in both breeds – 0.12 for NZW and 0.07 for CA. This is the first study in Bulgaria of MC4R gene. Further tests are pending to establish the influence of each genotype on the growth development of several rabbit generations from both breeds.

Keywords: Rabbit breeding; PCR-RFLP; MC4R gene; Polymorphism; Body weight

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