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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Cell Wall Biology and Utilization Research » Research » Research Project #443922

Research Project: Enabling Tools for Microbiome-based Trait Selection in Dairy Cows

Location: Cell Wall Biology and Utilization Research

Project Number: 5090-31000-028-050-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 15, 2020
End Date: Jun 14, 2024

Use genotype and phenotype information to generate cattle rumen microbial profiles and correlate such profiles with milk production.

We plan to sample approximately 800 Holstein cows at the ARS Prairie du Sac and Marshfield dairies via buccal swab. We will use 16S, ITS and 18S sequencing of the swab samples to generate microbial profiles on all cows in the ARS herds at two timepoints separated by six months. We will also genotype all cows in the herd using commercially available SNP chips and custom genotyping assays containing SNP markers from the toll-like receptor locus. We will then transform the microbial data into a useful metric using statistical learning and then perform an association study of microbial data with animal genotypes to identify quantitative trait loci associated with microbial maintenance. Next, we will identify correlations between microbial data and milk production phenotypes recorded over the sampling period. Finally, we will generate a public database to contain all data collected from this project and to disseminate the results to the research community. We envision this database will serve as a valuable test resource for similar studies.