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Yang C.,Agricultural University of Hebei | Yang C.,Hebei North University | Ge J.,Hebei North University | Chen S.,Agricultural University of Hebei | And 7 more authors.
Italian Journal of Animal Science

Rex rabbits have a unique fur structure with a variety of different coat colours. In this study, we analysed variability in the agouti signalling protein (ASIP) gene in Rex rabbits with different coat colours (castor, red, blue, chinchilla, otter and black). Three alleles at this locus were identified: A, light-bellied agouti (wild type), in castor and chinchilla Rex; at, black and tan, in otter, castor and chinchilla Rex; and a, black non-agouti, in black, red, blue, castor and chinchilla Rex rabbits. Two missense mutations, two synonymous substitutions and one indel were the identified polymorphisms associated to these three alleles, as already described by others. Gene expression of the ASIP gene was also evaluated in different tissues from animals of the six coat colours. Agouti signalling protein expression was always observed in all tissue/coat colour combinations. © C.Yang et al., 2015. Source

Yang C.-J.,Agricultural University of Hebei | Yang C.-J.,Hebei North University | Ge J.,Hebei North University | Liu Y.-J.,Agricultural University of Hebei | And 7 more authors.
Modern Food Science and Technology

Apart from regulating the coat color in mammals, the agouti gene also affects a variety of physiological processes including feeding behavior. In this study, the effects of agouti gene polymorphism and expression on production and quality of colored Rex Rabbit meat were examined. The results showed that colored Rex Rabbits exhibited three agouti gene alleles: "A" (wild type), "at" (Tan), and "a" (non-agouti), which represent castor, otter, and black coat color, respectively. With regard to meat yield, colored Rex Rabbits showed higher dressing percentage, meat percentage, and meat-bone ratio. The overall meat quality was generally excellent, with good water retention capability, high cooked-meat percentage, and good meat tenderness. Thus, Rex Rabbit farming not only focuses on the value of colored Rex Rabbit skin, but also the value of the rabbit meat. The influence of agouti gene polymorphisms on meat production and meat quality were in the following order of color: castor > black > otter. Agouti gene expression did not show a significant correlation with meat production (p >0.05), but was significantly correlated with meat quantity (p < 0.05). In summary, the agouti gene not only controls the color of Rex Rabbit fur, but also the meat quality, and may be associated with fat formation in mammals. When the agouti gene is over-expressed, it may affect other traits such as meat production. ©, 2015, South China University of Technology. All right reserved. Source

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