Location: Genetics and Animal BreedingTitle: Genetic and phenotypic associations of mitochondrial DNA copy number, SNP, and haplogroups with growth and carcass traits in beef cattle
|SANGLARD, LETICIA - University Of Nebraska|
|Thallman, Richard - Mark|
|King, David - Andy|
|SPANGLER, MATTHEW - (NCE, CECR)networks Of Centres Of Exellence Of Canada, Centres Of Excellence For Commercilization A|
Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/17/2022
Publication Date: 12/25/2022
Citation: Sanglard, L.P., Snelling, W.M., Kuehn, L.A., Thallman, R.M., Freetly, H.C., Wheeler, T.L., Shackelford, S.D., King, D.A., Spangler, M.L. 2022. Genetic and phenotypic associations of mitochondrial DNA copy number, SNP, and haplogroups with growth and carcass traits in beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science. 101. Article skac415. https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skac415.
Interpretive Summary: This study investigated mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA CN) as a potential genetic indicator of growth and carcass traits in a composite beef cattle population. Mitochondrial DNA CN was previously shown to be under genetic control. The current study estimated the genetic relationship of mtDNA CN with growth and carcass traits. Blood, leucocyte, and semen samples were obtained from 2,371 animals and subjected to whole-genome sequencing at a low depth that resulted in nuclear DNA and mtDNA sequence reads. Mitochondrial DNA CN was estimated as the ratio of mtDNA to nuclear DNA coverages. Growth and carcass traits were available for between 7,249 and 60,989 individuals. Genetic parameters were estimated from an animal model based on pedigree. Genetic correlation estimates of mtDNA CN with growth and carcass traits were low to moderate and mostly negative. These indicate that selection for lower mtDNA would be associated with an increase in birth weight, weaning weight, post-weaning gain, average daily dry-matter intake, mature cow weight, slaughter weight, and carcass weight. Therefore, the by-product of whole-genome sequencing at a low depth could be used as an indicator trait for growth and carcass traits in genetic evaluations, but the genetic relationships are not likely strong enough to prioritize mtDNA ahead of routinely used indicator traits.
Technical Abstract: Mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA CN) is heritable and easily obtained from low-pass sequencing (LPS). This study investigated the genetic correlation of mtDNA CN with growth and carcass traits in a multi-breed and crossbred beef cattle population. Blood, leucocyte, and semen samples were obtained from 2,371 animals and subjected to LPS that resulted in nuclear DNA (nuDNA) and mtDNA sequence reads. Mitochondrial DNA CN was estimated as the ratio of mtDNA to nuDNA coverages. Variant calling was performed from mtDNA, and 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) were identified in the population. Samples were classified in taurine haplogroups. Haplogroup and mtDNA type were further classified based on the 11 segregating SNP. Growth and carcass traits were available for between 7,249 and 60,989 individuals. Associations of mtDNA CN, mtDNA haplogroups, mtDNA types, and mtDNA SNP with growth and carcass traits were estimated with univariate animal models, and genetic correlations were estimated with a bivariate animal model based on pedigree. Mitochondrial DNA CN tended (P-value =0.08) to be associated with birth weight and weaning weight. There was no association (P-value >0.10) between mtDNA SNP, haplogroups, or types with growth and carcass traits. Genetic correlation estimates of mtDNA CN were -0.30 ± 0.16 with birth weight, -0.31 ± 0.16 with weaning weight, -0.15 ± 0.14 with post-weaning gain, -0.11 ± 0.19 with average daily dry-matter intake, -0.04 ± 0.22 with average daily gain, -0.29 ± 0.13 with mature cow weight, -0.11 ± 0.13 with slaughter weight, -0.14 ± 0.13 with carcass weight, -0.07 ± 0.14 with carcass backfat, 0.14 ± 0.14 with carcass marbling, and -0.06 ± 0.14 with ribeye area. In conclusion, mtDNA CN was negatively correlated with most traits investigated, and the genetic correlation was stronger with growth traits than with carcass traits.