Full-length sequencing and identification of novel polymorphisms in the ACACA gene of Valle del Belice sheep breed
The essential role of the acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACACA) enzyme in milk fatty acid (FA) synthesis suggests that it may be responsible for the phenotypic variability observed inmilk.Before attempting association analyses between this gene and/or enzyme and phenotypic traits, a study on the genetic variability within this locus is required. The aim of this work was to sequence the entirecoding region of ACACA gene in Valle del Belice sheep breed to identify polymorphic sites. A total of 51 coding exons of ACACA gene were sequenced in 32 individuals of Valle del Belice sheep breed. Sequencing analysis and alignment of obtained sequences showed the presence of 23 polymorphic sites. The most polymorphic was exon 53 which showed presence of 12 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), ofwhich eight were missense mutations, caused amino acid changes and therefore may affect protein functionor stability causing variation in phenotype. The identified polymorphisms showed high variability of the ACACA gene. Sequences analysis allowed to find six new SNPs in exon 53 (6832C>T; 6835C>A; 6840G>A; 6847G>T; 6852C>T and 6860G>C). A total of 31 haplotypes were inferred. Although this study could not provide association study with production traits, it shows finding of novelSNPs that might be important in future studies and laid the basis for further association analyses needed to evaluate the potential use of these SNPs as genetic markers for fat content and FAs composition in milk of Valle del Belice sheep breed.