Genome-wide association studies of growth traits in three dairy cattle breeds using whole-genome sequence data

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Male calves and culled cows of dairy cattle are used for beef production. However, unlike beef breeds, the genetics of growth performance traits in dairy breeds have not been extensively studied. Here, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on Holsteins ( = 5,519), Jerseys ( = 1,231), and Red Dairy Cattle ( = 4,410) to identify QTL for growth traits. First, a GWAS was performed within breeds using whole-genome sequence variants. Later, a meta-analysis was performed to combine information across the 3 breeds. We have identified several QTL that have large effects on growth traits in Holsteins and Red Dairy Cattle but with little overlap across breeds. Only 1 QTL located on chromosome 10 was shared between Holsteins and Red Dairy Cattle. The most significant variant (BTA10:59,164,533, rs43636323; -value = 2.8 × 10) in this QTL explained 2.4% of the total additive genetic variance in Red Dairy Cattle. The gene is a strong candidate for the underlying gene of this QTL. In Red Dairy Cattle, a QTL near 25 Mb on chromosome 14 was very significantly associated with growth traits, consistent with the previously reported gene , which affects growth in beef cattle and humans. No QTL for growth performance was statistically significant in Jerseys, possibly due to the low power of detection with the small sample size. The meta-analysis of the 3 breeds increased the power to detect QTL.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Animal Science
Vol/bind94
Nummer4
Sider (fra-til)1426-1437
Antal sider12
ISSN0021-8812
DOI
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2016

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