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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #373303

Research Project: Improving Dairy Animals by Increasing Accuracy of Genomic Prediction, Evaluating New Traits, and Redefining Selection Goals

Location: Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory

Title: Major quantitative trait loci influencing milk production and conformation traits in Guernsey dairy cattle detected on Bos taurus autosome 19

item LI, BINGJIE - Sruc-Scotland'S Rural College
item Vanraden, Paul
item Null, Daniel
item O'CONNELL, JEFFREY - University Of Maryland School Of Medicine
item Cole, John

Submitted to: Journal of Dairy Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/7/2020
Publication Date: 1/1/2021
Citation: Li, B., Van Raden, P.M., Null, D.J., O'Connell, J.R., Cole, J.B. 2021. Major quantitative trait loci influencing milk production and conformation traits in Guernsey dairy cattle detected on Bos taurus autosome 19. Journal of Dairy Science. 104(1):550–560.

Interpretive Summary: We carried out a genome-wide association study for all traits evaluated for U.S. Guernsey cattle. Major quantitative trait loci (QTL) influencing several production and conformation (body shape) traits were detected on chromosome 19 in the region of 26.2 to 28.3 Mb. There may be multiple QTL on chromosome 19 associated with some of the traits (protein, dairy form, and stature). The top-associated SNP are common variants, and the haplotype where the QTL resides has a high frequency in the U.S. Guernsey population, indicating a potential long-term influence of this QTL on the Guernsey breed.

Technical Abstract: The goal of this study was to identify potential QTL for 27 production, fitness, and conformation traits of Guernsey cattle through genome-wide association (GWA) analyses, with extra emphasis on BTA19 where major QTL were observed for several traits. Animals’ de-regressed predicted transmitting abilities (PTA) from the December, 2018, official U.S. genomic evaluations were used as phenotypes. All of the Guernsey cattle included in the QTL analyses were predictor animals in the reference population, ranging from 1,077 to 1,685 animals for different traits. Single-trait GWA analyses were carried out by a mixed-model approach for all 27 traits using imputed high-density genotypes. A major QTL was detected on BTA19 influencing several milk production traits, conformation traits, and livability of Guernsey cattle, and the most significant SNP lie in the region of 26.2-28.3 Mb. The MYH10 (myosin heavy chain 10) gene residing within this region was found to be highly associated with milk production and body conformation traits of dairy cattle. After the initial GWA analyses, which suggested that many significant SNP are in linkage with one another, conditional analyses were used for fine-mapping. The top significant SNP on BTA19 were fixed as covariables in the model, one at a time, until no more significant SNP were detected on BTA19. After this fine-mapping approach was applied, only one significant SNP was detected on BTA19 for most traits, but multiple, independent significant SNP were found for protein yield, dairy form, and stature. In addition, the haplotype that hosts the major QTL on BTA19 was traced to a U.S. Guernsey born in 1954. The haplotype is common in the breed, indicating a long-term influence of this QTL on the U.S. Guernsey population.