Host genetic control on rumen microbiota and its impact on dairy traits in sheep.

TitleHost genetic control on rumen microbiota and its impact on dairy traits in sheep.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsBoggio, GMartinez, Meynadier, A, Buitenhuis, AJohannes, Marie-Etancelin, C
JournalGenet Sel Evol
Date Published2022 Nov 24

BACKGROUND: Milk yield and fine composition in sheep depend on the volatile and long-chain fatty acids, microbial proteins, vitamins produced through feedstuff digestion by the rumen microbiota. In cattle, the host genome has been shown to have a low to moderate genetic control on rumen microbiota abundance but a high control on dairy traits with heritabilities higher than 0.30. There is little information on the genetic correlations and quantitative trait loci (QTL) that simultaneously affect rumen microbiota abundance and dairy traits in ruminants, especially in sheep. Thus, our aim was to quantify the effect of the host genetics on rumen bacterial abundance and the genetic correlations between rumen bacterial abundance and several dairy traits, and to identify QTL that are associated with both rumen bacterial abundance and milk traits.

RESULTS: Our results in Lacaune sheep show that the heritability of rumen bacterial abundance ranges from 0 to 0.29 and that the heritability of 306 operational taxonomic units (OTU) is significantly different from 0. Of these 306 OTU, 96 that belong mainly to the Prevotellaceae, Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae bacterial families show strong genetic correlations with milk fatty acids and proteins (absolute values ranging from 0.33 to 0.99). Genome-wide association studies revealed a QTL for alpha-lactalbumin concentration in milk on Ovis aries chromosome (OAR) 11, and six QTL for rumen bacterial abundances i.e., for two OTU belonging to the genera Prevotella (OAR3 and 5), Rikeneleaceae_RC9_gut_group (OAR5), Ruminococcus (OAR5), an unknown genus of order Clostridia UCG-014 (OAR10), and CAG-352 (OAR11). None of these detected regions are simultaneously associated with rumen bacterial abundance and dairy traits, but the bacterial families Prevotellaceae, Lachnospiraceae and F082 show colocalized signals on OAR3, 5, 15 and 26.

CONCLUSIONS: In Lacaune dairy sheep, rumen microbiota abundance is partially controlled by the host genetics and is poorly genetically linked with milk protein and fatty acid compositions, and three main bacterial families, Prevotellaceae, Lachnospiraceae and F082, show specific associations with OAR3, 5, 15 and 26.

Alternate JournalGenet Sel Evol
PubMed ID36434501
PubMed Central ID6200390