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A system-based analysis of the genetic determinism of udder conformation and health phenotypes across three French dairy cattle breeds

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  • Andrew Gitahi Marete, INRA, Jouy-en-Josas
  • ,
  • Mogens Sandø Lund
  • Didier A Boichard, INRA, UMR1313 Génétique Animale et Biologie Intégrative (GABI), , France
  • Yuliaxis Ramayo-Caldas, INRA, UMR1313 Génétique Animale et Biologie Intégrative (GABI), , France
Using GWAS to identify candidate genes associated with cattle morphology traits at a functional level is challenging. The main difficulty of identifying candidate genes and gene interactions associated with such complex traits is the long-range linkage disequilibrium (LD) phenomenon reported widely in dairy cattle. Systems biology approaches, such as combining the Association Weight Matrix (AWM) with a Partial Correlation in an Information Theory (PCIT) algorithm, can assist in overcoming this LD. Used in a multi-breed and multi-phenotype context, the AWM-PCIT could aid in identifying udder traits candidate genes and gene networks with regulatory and functional significance. This study aims to use the AWM-PCIT algorithm as a post-GWAS analysis tool with the goal of identifying candidate genes underlying udder morphology. We used data from 78,440 dairy cows from three breeds and with own phenotypes for five udder morphology traits, five production traits, somatic cell score and clinical mastitis. Cows were genotyped with medium (50k) or low-density (7 to 10k) chips and imputed to 50k. We performed a within breed and trait GWAS. The GWAS showed 9,830 significant SNP across the genome (p < 0.05). Five thousand and ten SNP did not map a gene, and 4,820 SNP were within 10-kb of a gene. After accounting for 1SNP:1gene, 3,651 SNP were within 10-kb of a gene (set1), and 2,673 significant SNP were further than 10-kb of a gene (set2). The two SNP sets formed 6,324 SNP matrix, which was fitted in an AWM-PCIT considering udder depth/ development as the key trait resulting in 1,013 genes associated with udder morphology, mastitis and production phenotypes. The AWM-PCIT detected ten potential candidate genes for udder related traits: ESR1, FGF2, FGFR2, GLI2, IQGAP3, PGR, PRLR, RREB1, BTRC, and TGFBR2.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0199931
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2018

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