Present study was aimed at comparative analysis of microsatellite
polymorphism at DRB1 intron 2 locus of Ovine MHC in German
Merino sheep. Experiment was conducted in four consecutive lambings comprising
flock of adult males, females and offspring`s totaling 639 individuals.
A total of 16 DRB1 microsatellite alleles, ranging between
353-857 bp were detected associated with variable reproductive performances
among males and females. Ewes carrying allele 386 bp had a higher (p<0.01)
number of lambs born, carriers of allele 389 bp had a lower (p<0.01)
number of lambs weaned and allele 411 bp occurred together with higher
values of all recorded fertility traits. The associations of different
alleles with variable reproductive traits in sheep could be individual
variability to humoral immune response, cell recognition or tissue differentiation
between carriers of various MHC genotypes. The observed associations within
DRB1 intron 2 locus of Ovine MHC in German Merino sheep may
be used as a molecular marker for identifying QTL in genetic improvement
of the sheep.