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Identification of Polymorphisms in the Osteopontin Gene and Their Associations with Certain Semen Production Traits of Water Buffaloes in the Brazilian Amazon


Author's address (for correspondence): ST Rolim Filho, Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia, Av. Presidente Tancredo Neves, 2501, Montese, Belém, Pará, CEP: 66.077-901, Brazil. E-mail:


The osteopontin gene may influence the fertility of water buffaloes because it is a protein present in sperm. The aim of this work was to identify polymorphisms in this gene and associate them with fertility parameters of animals kept under extensive grazing. A total of 306 male buffaloes older than 18 months, from two farms, one in the state of Amapá and the other in the state of Pará, Brazil were used in the study. Seven SNPs were identified in the regions studied. The polymorphisms were in gene positions 1478, 1513 and 1611 in the region 5′upstrem and positions 6690, 6737, 6925 and 6952 in the region amplified in intron 5. The SNPs were associated with the traits, namely scrotal circumference, scrotal volume, sperm motility, sperm concentration and sperm pathology. There were significant SNPs (p < 0.05) for all the traits. The SNP 6690 was significant for scrotal circumference, sperm concentration, sperm motility and sperm pathology and the SNP 6737 for scrotal volume. The genotype AA of SNP 6690 presented the highest averages for scrotal circumference, sperm concentration and motility and the lowest total number of sperm pathologies. For the scrotal volume trait, the animals with the largest volume were correlated with the presence of the genotype GG of SNP 6737. These results indicate a significance of the osteopontin gene as it seems to exert a substantial influence on the semen production traits of male buffaloes.