The aim of this study was to investigate mitochondrial ND5 gene polymorphisms and their relationship with in vitro maturation (IVM) and in vitro culture (IVC) of Sanjabi sheep. Blood and ovarian samples of adult ewes were obtained from a local slaughterhouse. For each ovarian sample, cumulus–oocyte complexes larger than 3 mm in diameter were aspirated from follicles, and their IVM and IVC rates were recorded. A 666-bp fragment of the ND5 gene was amplified using the polymerase chain reaction. The samples were genotyped using a modified single-stranded conformation polymorphism (SSCP) method, and an association study was conducted with IVM and IVC rates. Six different SSCP patterns, designated A, B, C, D, E and F with respective frequencies of 8, 47, 4, 4, 32 and 5%, respectively, were observed. According to the results of association analysis, there was no significant association between the ND1 gene polymorphisms and the IVM and IVC rates (P > 0.05).