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Anim Genet. 2009 Dec;40(6):832-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2009.01921.x. Epub 2009 Jun 8.

Database of cattle candidate genes and genetic markers for milk production and mastitis.

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Department of Animal Science, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Domzale, Slovenia.


A cattle database of candidate genes and genetic markers for milk production and mastitis has been developed to provide an integrated research tool incorporating different types of information supporting a genomic approach to study lactation, udder development and health. The database contains 943 genes and genetic markers involved in mammary gland development and function, representing candidates for further functional studies. The candidate loci were drawn on a genetic map to reveal positional overlaps. For identification of candidate loci, data from seven different research approaches were exploited: (i) gene knockouts or transgenes in mice that result in specific phenotypes associated with mammary gland (143 loci); (ii) cattle QTL for milk production (344) and mastitis related traits (71); (iii) loci with sequence variations that show specific allele-phenotype interactions associated with milk production (24) or mastitis (10) in cattle; (iv) genes with expression profiles associated with milk production (207) or mastitis (107) in cattle or mouse; (v) cattle milk protein genes that exist in different genetic variants (9); (vi) miRNAs expressed in bovine mammary gland (32) and (vii) epigenetically regulated cattle genes associated with mammary gland function (1). Fourty-four genes found by multiple independent analyses were suggested as the most promising candidates and were further in silico analysed for expression levels in lactating mammary gland, genetic variability and top biological functions in functional networks. A miRNA target search for mammary gland expressed miRNAs identified 359 putative binding sites in 3'UTRs of candidate genes.

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