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J Dairy Sci. 2005 Jan;88(1):356-67.

Estimation of quantitative trait loci parameters for milk production traits in German Holstein dairy cattle population.

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VIT, Heideweg 1, 27-283 Verden, Germany.


The main objective of this study was to estimate the proportion of total genetic variance attributed to a quantitative trait locus (QTL) on Bos taurus autosome 6 (BTA6) for milk production traits in the German Holstein dairy cattle population. The analyzed chromosomal region on BTA6 spanned approximately 70 cM, and contained 6 microsatellite markers. Milk production data were obtained from routine genetic evaluation for 4500 genotyped German Holstein bulls. Technical aspects related to the estimation of model parameters for a large data set from routine genotype recording were outlined. A fixed QTL model and a random QTL model were introduced to incorporate marker information into parameter estimation and genetic evaluation. Estimated QTL variances, expressed as the ratio of QTL to polygenic variances, were 0.04, 0.03, and 0.07 for milk yield; 0.06, 0.08, and 0.14 for fat yield; and 0.04, 0.04, and 0.11 for protein yield, in the first 3 parities, respectively. The estimated QTL positions, expressed as distances from the leftmost marker DIK82, were 18, 31, and 17 cM for milk yield; 25, 17, and 9 cM for fat yield; and 16, 30, and 17 cM for protein yield in the 3 respective parities. Because the data for the parameter estimation well represented the current population of active German Holstein bulls, the QTL parameter estimates have been used in routine marker-assisted genetic evaluation for German Holsteins.

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