Effect of Point Mutation in the Growth Differentiation Factor 9 Gene of Oocytes on the Sterility and Fertility of Awassi Sheep


H. Al-Mutar 1 , * , L. Younis 2

1 College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Baghdad, Bagdad, Iraq

2 College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tikrit, Tikrit, Iraq

How to Cite: Al-Mutar H, Younis L. Effect of Point Mutation in the Growth Differentiation Factor 9 Gene of Oocytes on the Sterility and Fertility of Awassi Sheep, Arch Razi Inst. 2020 ; 75(1):e103477. doi: 10.22092/ari.2018.122232.1220.


Archives of Razi Institute: 75 (1); 101-108
Published Online: March 01, 2020
Article Type: Research Article
Received: April 06, 2020
Accepted: July 28, 2018


Growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) plays a critical role in ovarian follicular development and ovulation rate. The present study aimed to investigate the correlation between the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of the GDF9 gene and reproductive performance variables, such as fertility and sterility in Awassi sheep. Forty pairs of ovaries from a total of 40 slaughtered Iraqi Awassi ewes were used in this study. Twenty of the ovaries were collected from sterile ewes and the other 20 ovaries were taken from fertile ewes for genomic DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction, and sequencing to detect GDF9 gene polymorphism. Follicles and oocytes of all the 40 ovaries were evaluated and compared with the results of genotyping. Furthermore, histopathological and microscopic evaluations were performed for 40 ovarian tissues of the two groups. The sequence analysis revealed that exon I had three SNPs, including T(114)C, G(129)R, and G(199)A. The first two SNPs were silent mutations and the last mutation was missense responsible for the substitution of glutamic acid with lysine at position 67. The current study showed a significant increase (P≤0.01) in GG, AA, CC, GA, and GG genotypes at G(129)R,  G(199)A, T(114)C, G(129)R, and  G(199)A loci, respectively. Moreover, the TT genotype in locus T(114)C was recorded to significantly augment (P≤0.05) in the fertile ewes. Mutant GA genotype of the G(129)R locus led to a significant (P≤0.05) increase in the percentage of follicles (4-8 mm) and oocytes number, compared to wild GG. On the other hand, a significant decrease was recorded in the mutant AA genotype in G(199)A, compared to wild GG. Differences between CC and TT genotypes at T(114)C locus were not significant. Histopathological examination revealed hypoplasia in the ovarian tissue of sterile ewes accompanied by fibrous connective tissue invasion and follicles degeneration. However, in the fertile ewes, the ovarian tissues were normal with the presence of numerous corpus albicans and degenerative corpus luteum. According to the findings of this study, the homozygote mutation in fertile ewes minimized the number of follicles and oocytes leading to sterility, while the heterozygote mutation was reported in the fertile Awassi ewes.

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