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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 #380170

Research Project: Investigating Microbial, Digestive, and Animal Factors to Increase Dairy Cow Performance and Nutrient Use Efficiency

Location: Cell Wall Biology and Utilization Research

Title: Variants at the ASIP locus contribute to coat color darkening in Nellore cattle

item TRIGO, BEATRIZ - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item UTSUNOMIYA, ADAM - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
item FORTUNATO, ALVARO - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item MILANESI, MARCO - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item TORRECILHA, RAFAELA - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
item LAMB, HARRISON - University Of Queensland
item HAYES, BEN - University Of Queensland
item NGUYEN, LOAN - University Of Queensland
item ROSS, ELIZABETH - University Of Queensland
item PADULA, ROMULO - Pontifical Catholic University
item SUSSAI, THAYLA - Pontifical Catholic University
item ZAVAREZ, LUDMILLA - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
item CIPRIANO, RAFAEL - Pontifical Catholic University
item CAMINHAS, MARIA - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item LOPES, FLAVIA - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item LUNG, LAIZA - Crv Lagoa
item PELLE, CASSIANO - Crv Lagoa
item LEEB, TOSSO - University Of Bern
item BANNASCH, DANIKA - University Of Bern
item Bickhart, Derek
item Smith, Timothy - Tim
item GARCIA, JOSE - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item UTSUNOMIYA, YURI - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)

Submitted to: Genetics Selection Evolution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/16/2021
Publication Date: 4/28/2021
Citation: Trigo, B.B., Utsunomiya, A.T., Fortunato, A., Milanesi, M., Torrecilha, R.B., Lamb, H., Hayes, B., Nguyen, L., Ross, E., Padula, R.C., Sussai, T.S., Zavarez, L.B., Cipriano, R.S., Caminhas, M.M., Lopes, F.L., Lung, L.H., Pelle, C., Leeb, T., Bannasch, D., Bickhart, D.M., Smith, T.P.L, Garcia, J.F., Utsunomiya, Y.T. 2021. Variants at the ASIP locus contribute to coat color darkening in Nellore cattle. Genetics Selection Evolution. 53. Article 40.

Interpretive Summary: The coat color of cattle breeds has long fascinated breeders. Many cattle breeds are solely defined based on colorful patterns in their external coats of hair. The genetics of coat color are incredibly complex with many genes found to influence pigment colors and patterns. This study identified one gene that influences the white coat color of the Nelore cattle breed. This white coat color may play a role in the breed's adaptation to tropical climates.

Technical Abstract: Nellore cattle (Bos indicus) are well-known for their adaptation to warm and humid environments. Hair-coat length and color are traits that may impact heat tolerance. The Nellore breed have had intense selection for white coat color in females, but bulls generally exhibit darker hair ranging from light gray to black on the head, neck, hump, and knees. We performed a Genome-wide association study (GWAS) analysis for darkness of hair coat in Nellore cattle using data from 432 bulls genotyped for >777k single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). A single major association signal was detected in the vicinity of the agouti signaling protein gene (ASIP). The analysis of whole genome sequencing (WGS) of 21 bulls revealed functional variants associated with darker hair, including a structural rearrangement (ASIP-CNVR1) consisting of a ~1 kbp deletion followed by a >150 bp insertion of a transposable element that may impact the recruitment of ASIP non-coding exons. Oxford nanopore sequencing of 10 Australian Brahman bulls further showed segregation of ASIP-CNVR1 in Brahman cattle and confirmed its structural arrangement. Overall, our results indicate that the mutant ASIP sequence causes partial loss of melanin dilution in specific body regions.