Genetic control of multiple births in low ovulating mammalian species

Genetic control of multiple births in low ovulating mammalian species In mammals, litter size is a highly variable trait. Some species such as humans or cattle are monotocous, with one or sometimes two newborns per birth, whereas others, the polytocous species such as mice or pigs, are highly prolific and often produce a dozen newborns at each farrowing. In monotocous species, however, two or three newborns per birth may sometime be unwanted. In more polytocous species such as sheep or pigs, litter size is studied in order to increase livestock prolificacy. By contrast, twinning rates in humans or cattle may increase birth difficulties and health problems in the newborns. In this context, the aim of our review was to provide a clearer understanding of the genetic and physiological factors that control multiple births in low-ovulating mammalian species, with particular focus on three species: sheep, cattle, and humans, where knowledge of the ovulation rate in one may enlighten findings in the others. This article therefore reviews the phenotypic and genetic variability observed with respect to ovulation and twinning rates. It then presents the QTL and major genes that have been identified in each species. Finally, we draw a picture of the diversity of the physiological mechanisms underlying multiple ovulation. Although several major genes have been discovered in sheep, QTL detection methods in humans or cattle have suggested that the determinism of litter size is complex and probably involves several genes in order to explain variations in the number of ovulations. Mammalian Genome Springer Journals

Genetic control of multiple births in low ovulating mammalian species

Loading next page...
Copyright © 2012 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Life Sciences; Cell Biology; Zoology; Anatomy
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial