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Genome-wide association study for age at puberty and resumption of cyclicity in a crossbred dairy cattle population.

TitleGenome-wide association study for age at puberty and resumption of cyclicity in a crossbred dairy cattle population.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsLefebvre, R, Larroque, H, Barbey, S, Gallard, Y, Colleau, JJ, Lainé, AL, Boichard, D, Martin, P
JournalJ Dairy Sci
Date Published2021 Jan 27
ISSN1525-3198
Abstract

Fertility is of primary economic importance in dairy cattle and the most common reason for involuntary culling. However, standard fertility traits have very low heritability that renders genetic selection slow and difficult. In this study, we explored fertility from an endocrine standpoint. A total of 1,163 crossbred Holstein-Normande females in a 3-generation familial design were studied for progesterone level measured every 10 d to determine age at puberty (PUB) and commencement of postpartum luteal activity (CPLA). Genetic parameters were estimated using REML with WOMBAT software. The heritability estimates were 0.38 ± 0.10 and 0.16 ± 0.07 for PUB and CPLA, respectively. Moreover, the 2 traits were genetically correlated (0.45 ± 0.23), suggesting a partially common determinism. Because of the family structure, a linkage disequilibrium and linkage analysis approach was preferred over standard genome-wide association study to map genomic regions associated with these traits. Ten quantitative trait loci (QTL) were detected for PUB on chromosomes 1, 3, 11, 13, 14, 21, and 29, whereas 3 QTL were associated with CPLA on chromosomes 21 and 26. Only the QTL on chromosome 21 was common to both traits. Four functional candidate genes (NCOA2, GAS2, OVOL1, and FOSL1) were identified in the detected regions. These findings will contribute to a clearer understanding of fertility determinism and enhance the value of introducing endocrinological data in fertility studies.

DOI10.3168/jds.2020-18228
Alternate JournalJ Dairy Sci
PubMed ID33516553