Genetic polymorphism in meat fatty acids in araucano creole sheeps
Meat is a source of proteins and minerals. However, red meats have high levels of saturated fatty acids (SFA) and a low proportion of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), a combination which has been linked to cancer and cardiovascular diseases. In ruminants, there are several genes that regulate the proportions of MUFA in tissues, but the most important is SCD (Stearoyl-CoA desaturase). The polymorphism g.31C >A has been described in the promoter region of the SCD gene, which is associated with changes in the gene expression and MUFA levels in the meat. The aim of this study was to detect the presence of polymorphism g.31C >A in a population of Araucano creole sheep using PCR-RFLP (polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism). Genomic DNA was obtained from 157 Araucano creole sheep. The SCD promoter region was amplified using PCR and the amplicons were digested with restriction enzyme MnlI. The allelic frequency was 0.98 for the C allele and 0.02 for the A allele. The in silico analysis showed that the A allele could alter the expression of SCD. This is the first report of the presence of polymorphism g.31C >A in Chilean sheep, and its association with SCD expression levels and the proportion of MUFA in the meat will require further investigation.