Microbiability of milk composition and genetic control of microbiota effects in sheep.

TitleMicrobiability of milk composition and genetic control of microbiota effects in sheep.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsG Boggio, M, Christensen, OF, Legarra, A, Meynadier, A, Marie-Etancelin, C
JournalJ Dairy Sci
Date Published2023 Jul 18

Recently, high-dimensional omics data are becoming available in larger quantities, and models have been developed that integrate them with genomics to understand in finer detail the relationship between genotype and phenotype, and thus improve the performance of genetic evaluations. Our objectives are to quantify the effect of the inclusion of microbiome data in the genetic evaluation for dairy traits in sheep, through the estimation of the heritability, microbiability, and how the microbiome effect on dairy traits decomposes into genetic and nongenetic parts. In this study we analyzed milk and rumen samples of 795 Lacaune dairy ewes. We included, as phenotype, dairy traits and milk fatty acids and proteins composition; as omics measurements, 16S rRNA rumen bacterial abundances; and as genotyping, 54K SNP chip for all ewes. Two nested genomic models were used: a first model to predict the individual contributions of the genetic and microbial abundances to phenotypes, and a second model to predict the additive genetic effect of the microbial community. In addition, microbiome-wide association studies for all dairy traits were applied using the 2,059 rumen bacterial abundances, and the genetic correlations between microbiome principal components and dairy traits were estimated. Results showed that in general the inclusion of both genetic and microbiome effect did not improve the fit of the model compared with the model with the genetic effect only. In addition, for all dairy traits the total heritability was equal to the direct heritability after fitting microbiota effects, due to a microbiability being almost zero for most dairy traits and heritability of the microbial community was very close to zero. Microbiome-wide association studies did not show operational taxonomic units with major effect for any of the dairy traits evaluated, and the genetic correlations between the first 5 principal components and dairy traits were low to moderate. So far, we can conclude that, using a substantial data set of 795 Lacaune dairy ewes, rumen bacterial abundances do not provide improved genetic evaluation for dairy traits in sheep.

Alternate JournalJ Dairy Sci
PubMed ID37474364