Leptin, a 16-Kilo dalton protein produced by the obesity (ob) gene, plays an important role in the regulation of feed intake, energy metabolism, growth and reproduction in cattle. The genetic variation of the leptin gene in Sahiwal cattle (Bos indicus) was investigated using an optimized non-radioactive polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) analysis of 13 amplified fragments covering almost the entire gene. Twenty-eight SSCP band patterns were detected from 10 of these fragments in a sample of 202 Sahiwal cattle. Polymorphisms were detected in the samples, indicating that Sahiwal cattle have high genetic variability in the entire leptin gene. This result opens interesting prospects for future breeding programmes and conservation strategies. These leptin gene variants can be sequenced and screened in the entire population to develop single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for association studies with different productive and reproductive performances and marker assisted selection.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher