A frameshift deletion in the GDF9 gene in Icelandic Loa prolific sheep

Lars-Erik Holm, Christian Bendixen, Emma Eythorsdottir, Jon H Hallsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several genetic variants have been shown to affect the mean number of offspring in different sheep breeds. Here, we analyzed samples from Icelandic sheep with the aim of identifying the genetic cause of the Icelandic Loa phenotype using three previously identified prolificacy genes as candidates. We demonstrate that a 4-bp frameshift deletion positioned in the mature region of the GDF9 protein in the Loa animals is a likely causal mutation for the observed increase in prolificacy; however, sequencing showed that not all ewes with a high number of offspring carried the deletion, suggesting the presence of a second mutation segregating within this group of animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-223
Number of pages4
JournalAnimal Genetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2021 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

Other keywords

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Frameshift Mutation
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 9/genetics
  • Iceland
  • Litter Size/genetics
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Pregnancy
  • Sheep/genetics


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