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Zexi Cai

Application of mixed linear models for the estimation of functional effects on bovine stature based on SNP summary statistics from a whole-genome association study

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  • Krzysztof Kotlarz, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences
  • ,
  • Barbara Kosinska-Selbi, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences
  • ,
  • Zexi Cai
  • Goutam Sahana
  • Joanna Szyda, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, National Research Institute of Animal Production, Krakow

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) help identify polymorphic sites or genes linked to phenotypic variance, but a few identified genes and/or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are unlikely to explain a large part of the phenotypic variability of complex traits. In this study, the focus was moved from single loci to functional units, expressed by the metabolic pathways as defined in the Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database. Consequently, the aim of this study was to estimate KEGG effects on stature in three Nordic dairy cattle breeds using SNP effects from GWAS as the dependent variable. The SNPs were annotated to genes, then the genes to KEGG pathways. The effects of KEGG pathways were estimated separately for each breed using a mixed linear model incorporating the similarity between pathways expressed by common genes. The KEGG pathway D-amino acid metabolism (map00473) was estimated to be significant for stature in two of the analysed breeds and revealed a borderline significance in the third breed. Thus, we demonstrate that the approach to statistical modelling of higher order functional effects on complex traits is useful, and provides evidence of the importance of D-amino acids for growth in cattle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number80
JournalGenetics Selection Evolution
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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