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J Dairy Sci. 2008 Jul;91(7):2844-56. doi: 10.3168/jds.2007-0585.

A whole-genome scan to map quantitative trait loci for conformation and functional traits in Canadian Holstein bulls.

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Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2P5.


Genetic improvement of livestock populations can be achieved through detection and mapping of genetic markers linked to quantitative trait loci (QTL). With the completion of the bovine genome sequence assembly, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assays spanning the whole bovine genome and research work on large-scale identification, validation, and analysis of genotypic variation in cattle has become possible. A total of 462 Canadian Holstein Bulls were used to test the association between SNP and QTL. Single locus linkage disequilibrium regression model was implemented to perform a whole genome scan to identify and map QTL affecting conformation and functional traits. One thousand five hundred thirty-six SNP markers from introns and exons of potential QTL regions for economically important traits across the bovine genome were selected for association analysis. A total of 45 and 151 SNP were found to be associated with 17 conformation and functional traits at a genome- and chromosome-wise significance level, respectively. Among the 196 significant SNP, 169 of them are newly detected in this study, whereas 27 of them have been reported in previous literature and 161 of these were located in genes and are worth further investigating to potentially identify the causative mutations underlying the QTL. The single locus linkage disequilibrium regression method using SNP marker genotypes has proven to be a successful methodology for detecting and mapping QTL in dairy cattle populations.

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