Novel haplotypes responsible for prenatal death in Nordic Red and Danish Jersey cattle

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Haplotypes that are common in a population but not observed as homotypes in living animals may harbor lethal alleles that compromise embryo survival. In this study, we searched for homozygous-deficient haplotypes in the genomes of 19,309 Nordic Red Dairy (RDC) and 4,291 Danish Jersey (JER) cattle genotyped using the Illumina BovineSNP50 BeadChip (Illumina Inc., San Diego, CA). For statistically significant deficient haplotypes, we evaluated the effect on nonreturn rate in at-risk matings (mating between carrier bull and daughter of carrier sire) versus not-at-risk matings (mating between noncarrier bull and daughter of noncarrier sire). Next, we analyzed whole-genome sequence variants from the 1000 Bull Genomes Project to identify putative causal variants underlying these haplotypes. In RDC, we identified 3 homozygous-deficient regions (HDR) that overlapped with known recessive lethal mutations: a 662-kb deletion on chromosome 12 in RDC [Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA) 001901-9913), a missense mutation in TUBD1, g.11063520T>C, in Braunvieh cattle (OMIA 001939-9913), and a 525-kb deletion on chromosome 23 in RDC (OMIA 001991-9913)]. In addition, we identified 15 novel HDR and their tag haplotypes for the underlying causative variants. The tag haplotype located between 39.2 and 40.3 Mbp on chromosome 18 had a negative effect on nonreturn rate in at-risk mating, confirming embryonic lethality. In Danish Jersey, we identified 12 novel HDR and their tag haplotypes for underlying causative variants. For 3 of these 12 tag haplotypes, insemination records of at-risk mating showed a negative effect on nonreturn rate, confirming the association with early embryonic mortality. Cattle that had both genotype and whole-genome sequence data were analyzed to detect the causative variants underlying each tag haplotype. However, none of the functional variants or deletions showed concordance with carrier status of the novel tag haplotypes. Carrier status of these detected haplotypes can be used to select bulls to reduce the frequencies of lethal alleles in the population and to avoid at-risk matings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Pages (from-to)4570-4578
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

    Research areas

  • embryonic mortality, homozygous-deficient region, recessive lethal, tag haplotype

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