Genetic correlations in rabbit growth traits: Insights into the growth hormone receptor gene across diverse strains

H. M. Ideozu 1, *, S. I. Omeje 2, I Udeh 2 and P. O Akporhuarho 2

1 Department of Animal Science, Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, P.M.B. 5080, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.
2 Department of Animal Science, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria.
Research Article
World Journal of Advanced Research and Reviews, 2024, 22(03), 1395–1406
Article DOI: 10.30574/wjarr.2024.22.3.1722
Publication history: 
Received on 27 April 2024; revised on 18 June 2024; accepted on 21 June 2024
This study was carried out to investigate genetic correlations among growth traits and their association with the growth hormone receptor gene (GHR) in three rabbit strains. 150 weaner rabbits of three different strains comprising 50 New Zealand white (25 males and 25 females), 50 Dutch (25 males and 25 females) and 50 Hylamax (25 males and 25 females) were used. The experiment which lasted for 30 weeks, evaluated genetic correlation among growth traits and how it associated with GHR gene. Over the course of 30 weeks, we meticulously scrutinized the interplay of growth traits such as Chest Girth, Body length, Ear Length, Body weight, Abdominal circumference, Thigh Length, and Tail Length, seeking to uncover hidden genetic correlations lurking within. Employing cutting-edge techniques including Polymerase Chain Reaction and multivariate analysis via IBM SPSS, we dissected the data with precision. Our findings unveiled a captivating narrative of strain, sex, and age effects on body weight, with New Zealand White rabbits having highest values in all the parameters studied and different ages. But the intrigue didn't end there! By targeting the elusive GANTC restriction site with the formidable Hinf1 endonuclease, we uncovered a striking divergence among genotypes, shedding light on the profound impact of genetic variation on growth traits. Across the ages, from the tender weeks of 6 to the age of 30, our study revealed that significant disparities and subtle distinctions, painting a vivid portrait of genetic influence on rabbit growth. There were significant (P<0.05) disparities in all three rabbit strains across the various ages (6, 14, 18, 22, 26 and 30) respectively except for week 10 that showed no significant difference even though numerical variation existed. For week 6, the strains exhibited variations for CC, GC and GG genotypes respectively with Hylamax having significantly (P<0.05) higher value for GG and lowest for GC. New Zealand White and Dutch strains had similar values for GC but varied for GG. BL had a positive phenotypic correlation with LBW and EL at (P<0.05) level. Furthermore, TAL was highly substantial (P<0.01) with EL (0.01) and moderate in TL (0.02) at (0.01 and 0.05 levels). CG was positively correlated to BL but damagingly correlated to LBW.
Genetic correlations; Rabbit; Growth hormone; Growth Traits; New Zealand; Allele.
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