Detailed analysis of mortality rates in the female progeny of 1,001 Holstein bulls allows the discovery of new dominant genetic defects.

TitleDetailed analysis of mortality rates in the female progeny of 1,001 Holstein bulls allows the discovery of new dominant genetic defects.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsBesnard, F, Leclerc, H, Boussaha, M, Grohs, C, Jewell, N, Pinton, A, Barasc, H, Jourdain, J, Femenia, M, Dorso, L, Strugnell, B, Floyd, T, Danchin, C, Guatteo, R, Cassart, D, Hubin, X, Mattalia, S, Boichard, D, Capitan, A
JournalJ Dairy Sci
Date Published2022 Nov 01

Reducing juvenile mortality in cattle is important for both economic and animal welfare reasons. Previous studies have revealed a large variability in mortality rates between breeds and sire progeny groups, with some extreme cases due to dominant mutations causing various syndromes among the descendants of mosaic bulls. The purpose of this study was to monitor sire-family calf mortality within the French and Walloon Holstein populations, and to use this information to detect genetic defects that might have been overlooked by lack of specific symptoms. In a population of heifers born from 1,001 bulls between 2017 and 2020, the average sire-family mortality rates were of 11.8% from birth to 1 year of age and of 4.2, 2.9, 3.1, and 3.2% for the perinatal, postnatal, preweaning, and postweaning subperiods, respectively. After outlining the 5 worst bulls per category, we paid particular attention to the bulls Mo and Pa, because they were half-brothers. Using a battery of approaches, including necropsies, karyotyping, genetic mapping, and whole-genome sequencing, we described 2 new independent genetic defects in their progeny and their molecular etiology. Mo was found to carry a de novo reciprocal translocation between chromosomes BTA26 and BTA29, leading to increased embryonic and juvenile mortality because of aneuploidy. Clinical examination of 2 calves that were monosomic for a large proportion of BTA29, including an orthologous segment deleted in human Jacobsen syndrome, revealed symptoms shared between species. In contrast, Pa was found to be mosaic for a dominant de novo nonsense mutation of GATA 6 binding protein (GATA6), causing severe cardiac malformations. In conclusion, our results highlight the power of monitoring juvenile mortality to identify dominant genetic defects due to de novo mutation events.

Alternate JournalJ Dairy Sci
PubMed ID36333145