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Myostatin (MSTN) also known as GDF-8 (growth and differentiation factor-8) is a member of transforming growth factor β superfamily. It acts as a negative-regulator for growth of skeletal muscle and differentiation in mammals. The genetic variation in MSTN gene has been linked to the variation in the muscularity in animals. However, study on variation in MSTN gene in wild animals is limited. In this research work, the 5’ UTR (untranslated region) and exon-1 of MSTN gene was studied in Wild Punjab Urial (Ovis vignei punjabiensis) that is endemic to Northern Punjab. The direct sequence analysis showed one substitution (g.3564 C>A) and one indel (g.3574 deletion) in the 5-UTR region of MSTN gene in Punjab Urial. The phylogenetic analysis was performed among various species and the clustering result of these species was consistent with fact of species differentiation. In this study, we hypothesized that the variation within the selected gene may be important in identifying the genomic region that would be responsible for significant phenotypes in the studied animal. The identifying variation could be used in the selection of Urial for environmental adaptation and domestication.
Keywords: Myostatin gene; sequencing; polymorphisms; Punjab Urial; Pakistan