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J Dairy Sci. 2010 Jun;93(6):2703-17. doi: 10.3168/jds.2009-2550.

Testing candidate gene effects on milk production traits in dairy cattle under various parameterizations and modes of inheritance.

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Department of Animal Genetics, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Kozuchowska 7, 51-631 Wrocław, Poland.


The major objectives of this study were 1) to assess the statistical properties of models commonly used for the estimation of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) effects under the assumption of various modes of inheritance and various parameterizations of SNP genotypes using simulated data, and 2) to compare effects of the selected polymorphisms located within butyrophilin (BTN1A1), diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1), leptin (LEP), and leptin receptor (LEPR) candidate genes on milk production traits using data from 2 dairy cattle breeds (190 Jersey cows and 475 Polish Holstein-Friesian cows). Simulation results showed that type I error and power were not dependent on the assumed parameterization, but differences were observed regarding confidence intervals of estimated SNP effects. In the presence of epistasis, correct confidence intervals for all (epistatic and nonepistatic) SNP and all modes of inheritance were provided only by the parameterization proposed by C. H. Kao and Z. B. Zeng in 2002. However, if no dominance effect was included in the model, confidence intervals for SNP effects were correct for all parameterizations. Results based on real data showed that for both breeds the additive effects of polymorphisms were generally similar, except for LEPR, which had a different allele associated with increased fat content in Holstein-Friesians than in Jerseys. In both breeds, DGAT1 had the largest additive effect of the polymorphisms considered, but its effect on most milk traits was more pronounced in Jerseys than in Holstein-Friesians. Evidence of epistasis was found between LEPR and DGAT1, as well as between LEPR and BTN1A1, but only for milk content traits and only in the Holstein-Friesian breed. There was also more evidence for dominance in the Holstein-Friesian breed than in the Jersey breed.

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