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Polymorphisms of the melatonin receptor 1A (MTNR1A) gene influence the age at first mating in autumn-born ram-lambs and sexual activity of adult rams in spring

Highlights•The melatonin receptor 1A (MTNR1A) gene exhibits several polymorphic sites in sheep.•This gene has two allelic variants (RsaI and MnlI), associated with seasonal activity in the ewe.•Autumn-born ram-lambs that carried the T/T or G/G genotype had an earlier ability to reproduce.•T/T or G/G adult rams exhibited the a most intense reproductive behavior in spring.•Genotyping might be a useful procedure for identifying the correct and rational use of rams.AbstractThe aim of this study was to determine whether polymorphisms of the melatonin receptor 1A (MTNR1A) gene influence the age at first mating in autumn-born ram-lambs and influence the out-of-season sexual activity of adult rams. In experiment 1, 24 Rasa Aragonesa ram-lambs born in September were genotyped for their RsaI and MnlI allelic variants of the MTNR1A gene, and the date of their first mounting with ejaculation after a period of semen collection training was documented. In experiment 2, the reproductive behavior, testicle size, and plasma testosterone concentrations of 18 adult rams (6 rams for each RsaI genotype) were recorded at the beginning (March) and end (May) of the seasonal anestrus. The number of days of training to achieve the first mating with ejaculation in T/T (C/C: 85.17 ± 12.08 C/T: 86.60 ± 18.87; T/T; 26.50 ± 24.50 d; P < 0.05), and G/G ram-lambs (G/G: 51.57 ± 14.99; A/G: 95.58 ± 10.95 d; P < 0.05) was significantly fewer than it was in the other genotypes. Likewise, for the RsaI genotype, 55% of the vulva-sniffing (P < 0.001), 48% of the approaches (P < 0.01), 48% of the mountings (P < 0.05) and 49% total activities (P < 0.001) were performed by T/T rams in March, and 50% of the sexual events in May (P < 0.001). For the Mnll variant, G/G rams performed a significantly (P < 0.001) larger proportion of the vulva-sniffing (41%), approaches (46%) and total activities (40%) in March, and 52% of the vulva-sniffing (P < 0.001), 43%, of the approaches (P < 0.001), 46% of the mountings (P < 0.05), and 47% of the total activities (P < 0.001) in May. Scrotal circumference, testicular volume, and plasma testosterone concentrations did not differ significantly among genotypes. Results confirmed that the polymorphisms of the MTNR1A gene sequence can influence reproductive performance in young and adult rams. Autumn-born ram-lambs that carried the T/T or G/G genotype had an advanced ability to reproduce, and T/T or G/G adult rams exhibited the most intense reproductive behavior. Genotyping might be a useful procedure for identifying the correct and rational use of rams in modern sheep farming.

چند شکلی ژن گیرنده ملاتونین ۱ A (MTNR۱A)سن اولین جفت گیری در بره‌های نر متولد پاییز و فعالیت جنسی قوچ‌های بالغ در بهار را تحت‌تاثیر قرار می‌دهد.

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