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BMC Genet. 2016 Jun 10;17(1):75. doi: 10.1186/s12863-016-0386-1.

Genome-wide association for milk production and female fertility traits in Canadian dairy Holstein cattle.

Author information

1
Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2P5, Canada.
2
Department of Animal Bioscience, Centre for the Genetic Improvement of Livestock, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
3
The Semex Alliance, Guelph, Canada.
4
Department of Animal and Poultry Production, Damanhour University, Damanhour, Egypt.
5
Invermay Agricultural Centre, AgResearch Limited, Mosgiel, New Zealand.
6
Agriculture and Food Innovation, Centre for Animal Science, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia.
7
Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2P5, Canada. stothard@ualberta.ca.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are a powerful tool for detecting genomic regions explaining variation in phenotype. The objectives of the present study were to identify or refine the positions of genomic regions affecting milk production, milk components and fertility traits in Canadian Holstein cattle, and to use these positions to identify genes and pathways that may influence these traits.

RESULT:

Several QTL regions were detected for milk production (MILK), fat production (FAT), protein production (PROT) and fat and protein deviation (FATD, PROTD respectively). The identified QTL regions for production traits (including milk production) support previous findings and some overlap with genes with known relevant biological functions identified in earlier studies such as DGAT1 and CPSF1. A significant region on chromosome 21 overlapping with the gene FAM181A and not previous linked to fertility in dairy cattle was identified for the calving to first service interval and days open. A functional enrichment analysis of the GWAS results yielded GO terms consistent with the specific phenotypes tested, for example GO terms GO:0007595 (lactation) and GO:0043627 (response to estrogen) for milk production (MILK), GO:0051057 (positive regulation of small GTPase mediated signal transduction) for fat production (FAT), GO:0040019 (positive regulation of embryonic development) for first service to calving interval (CTFS) and GO:0043268 (positive regulation of potassium ion transport) for days open (DO). In other cases the connection between the enriched GO terms and the traits were less clear, for example GO:0003279 (cardiac septum development) for FAT and GO:0030903 (notochord development) for DO trait.

CONCLUSION:

The chromosomal regions and enriched pathways identified in this study confirm several previous findings and highlight new regions and pathways that may contribute to variation in production or fertility traits in dairy cattle.

KEYWORDS:

Female fertility and milk production; Functional analysis; Genome-wide association analysis; Holstein cattle

PMID:
27287773
PMCID:
PMC4901445
DOI:
10.1186/s12863-016-0386-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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