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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Cell Wall Biology and Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342312

Title: Convergent evolution of slick coat in cattle through truncation mutations in the prolactin receptor

item PORTO-NETO, LAERCIO - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
item Bickhart, Derek
item LANDAETA-HERNANDEZ, ANTONIO - Universidad Del Zulia
item UTSUNOMIYA, YURI - Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)
item MORALES, MELVIN - University Of Puerto Rico
item CABAN-JIMENEZ, ESBAL - University Of Puerto Rico
item HANSEN, PETER - University Of Florida
item DIKMEN, SERDAL - Uludag University
item Schroeder, Steven - Steve
item SUN, JIAJIE - South China Agricultural University
item CRESPO, EDWARD - Universidad Del Zulia
item AMATI, NORMAN - Universidad Del Zulia
item Cole, John
item Null, Daniel
item GARCIA, JOSE - Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)
item REVERTER, ANTONIO - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
item BARENDSE, WILLIAM - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
item SONSTEGARD, TAD - Recombinetics, Inc

Submitted to: Frontiers in Genetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/8/2018
Publication Date: 2/23/2018
Citation: Porto-Neto, L.R., Bickhart, D.M., Landaeta-Hernandez, A.J., Utsunomiya, Y.T., Morales, M.P., Caban-Jimenez, E., Hansen, P.J., Dikmen, S., Schroeder, S.G., Sun, J., Crespo, E., Amati, N., Cole, J.B., Null, D.J., Garcia, J.F., Reverter, A., Barendse, W., Sonstegard, T.S. 2018. Convergent evolution of slick coat in cattle through truncation mutations in the prolactin receptor. Frontiers in Genetics. 9:57.

Interpretive Summary: Heat stress causes lost production (milk and meat), discomfort, and health problems in dairy and beef cattle. In an effort to improve heat tolerance in cattle, we are studying a genetic mutation in European-derived cattle that results in “slick” hair coats that are as smooth and short as those found in tropical cattle. It is currently difficult to identify and characterize this type of mutation in cattle, but we were able to identify new genetic changes within a cell surface receptor gene that reduce dairy cattle heat stress. The nature of the mutations suggest that the region of the receptor can be modified further, thereby generating new variants that may improve heat tolerance in cattle.

Technical Abstract: Evolutionary adaptations are occasionally convergent solutions to the same problem. A mutation causing slick coats in European-derived cattle, the Senepol breed, has been described which results in coats as smooth and short as that found in tropical cattle, due to a mutation in the 11th exon of prolactin receptor gene, which truncates the protein. This mutation reduces the heat load of cattle in tropical environments. However, this mutation does not explain all cases of slick coats. We obtained the genome sequence from nine cattle of a criollo breed, Limonero cattle, with slick coats whose ancestors were originally brought to the Americas by the Spanish. These sequences showed new alleles in the 11th exon of the prolactin receptor, some two of which also truncate the protein, removing a highly conserved tyrosine residue. These new mutations explain 82 of 93 cases of animals that had slick coats, but did not have the Senepol slick allele. These results demonstrated convergent evolution at the molecular level in a trait important to the adaptation of an animal to its environment.