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Genet Mol Res. 2013 May 13;12(2):1593-602. doi: 10.4238/2013.May.13.13.

An SduI polymorphism at intron 20 of the Chinese Holstein cow STAT4 gene and its effect on milk performance traits.

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Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou, China.


The signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) genes are responsive to a wide range of cytokines, growth factors, and hormones, and thus control important biological processes. In humans, STAT4 mutations have been identified as genetic markers for rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and primary Sjögren's syndrome, whereas little research has been conducted on bovine STAT4 mutations and their potential effects. Herein, 585 Chinese Holstein cows were used to investigate STAT4 mutations and their effects on milk performance traits. One haplotype block, containing g.95879G>A, g.96013G>C, was identified in intron 20 of the bovine STAT4 gene by restriction fragment length polymorphism-polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms were significantly associated with milk yield at 305 days (P < 0.05), and with protein percentage (P < 0.05). Chinese Holstein cows with the haplotype GGGG had higher milk yields at 305 days and lower protein percentages. These results suggest that the 2 single nucleotide polymorphisms of STAT4 could be used as genetic markers for milk performance traits in Chinese Holstein cows.

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