Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2017 Apr 20;12(4):e0175971. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175971. eCollection 2017.

Genome-wide association studies identified multiple genetic loci for body size at four growth stages in Chinese Holstein cattle.

Author information

Key Laboratory of Agricultural Animal Genetics and Breeding, National Engineering Laboratory for Animal Breeding, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, P.R. China.
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, United States of America.
Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing, P.R. China.
Beijing Sunlon Livestock Development Co. Ltd, Beijing, P.R. China.


The growth and maturity of cattle body size affect not only feed efficiency, but also productivity and longevity. Dissecting the genetic architecture of body size is critical for cattle breeding to improve both efficiency and productivity. The volume and weight of body size are indicated by several measurements. Among them, Heart Girth (HG) and Hip Height (HH) are the most important traits. They are widely used as predictors of body weight (BW). Few association studies have been conducted for HG and HH in cattle focusing on single growth stage. In this study, we extended the Genome-wide association studies to a full spectrum of four growth stages (6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-months after birth) in Chinese Holstein heifers. The whole genomic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were obtained from the Illumina BovineSNP50 v2 BeadChip genotyped on 3,325 individuals. Estimated breeding values (EBVs) were derived for both HG and HH at the four different ages and analyzed separately for GWAS by using the Fixed and random model Circuitous Probability Unification (FarmCPU) method. In total, 27 SNPs were identified to be significantly associated with HG and HH at different growth stages. We found 66 candidate genes located nearby the associated SNPs, including nine genes that were known as highly related to development and skeletal and muscular growth. In addition, biological function analysis was performed by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis and an interaction network related to development was obtained, which contained 16 genes out of the 66 candidates. The set of putative genes provided valuable resources and can help elucidate the genomic architecture and mechanisms underlying growth traits in dairy cattle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center