Pleiotropic Genes Affecting Carcass Traits in Bos indicus (Nellore) Cattle Are Modulators of Growth.
ABSTRACT: Two complementary methods, namely Multi-Trait Meta-Analysis and Versatile Gene-Based Test for Genome-wide Association Studies (VEGAS), were used to identify putative pleiotropic genes affecting carcass traits in Bos indicus (Nellore) cattle. The genotypic data comprised over 777,000 single-nucleotide polymorphism markers scored in 995 bulls, and the phenotypic data included deregressed breeding values (dEBV) for weight measurements at birth, weaning and yearling, as well visual scores taken at weaning and yearling for carcass finishing precocity, conformation and muscling. Both analyses pointed to the pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1) as a major pleiotropic gene. VEGAS analysis revealed 224 additional candidates. From these, 57 participated, together with PLAG1, in a network involved in the modulation of the function and expression of IGF1 (insulin like growth factor 1), IGF2 (insulin like growth factor 2), GH1 (growth hormone 1), IGF1R (insulin like growth factor 1 receptor) and GHR (growth hormone receptor), suggesting that those pleiotropic genes operate as satellite regulators of the growth pathway.
Project description:In beef cattle farming, growth and carcass traits are important for genetic breeding programs. Molecular markers can be used to assist selection and increase genetic gain. The ADIPOQ, OLR1 and PPARGC1A genes are involved in lipid synthesis and fat accumulation in adipose tissue. The objective of this study was to identify polymorphisms in these genes and to assess the association with growth and carcass traits in Nelore cattle. A total of 639 animals were genotyped by PCR-RFLP for rs208549452, rs109019599 and rs109163366 in ADIPOQ, OLR1 and PPARGC1A gene, respectively. We analyzed the association of SNPs identified with birth weight, weaning weight, female yearling weight, female hip height, male yearling weight, male hip height, loin eye area, rump fat thickness, and backfat thickness. The OLR1 marker was associated with rump fat thickness and weaning weight (P < 0.05) and the PPARGC1 marker was associated with female yearling weight.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Birth weight (BW) is an economically important trait in beef cattle, and is associated with growth- and stature-related traits and calving difficulty. One region of the cattle genome, located on Bos primigenius taurus chromosome 14 (BTA14), has been previously shown to be associated with stature by multiple independent studies, and contains orthologous genes affecting human height. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) for BW in Brazilian Nellore cattle (Bos primigenius indicus) was performed using estimated breeding values (EBVs) of 654 progeny-tested bulls genotyped for over 777,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). RESULTS: The most significant SNP (rs133012258, PGC = 1.34 × 10-9), located at BTA14:25376827, explained 4.62% of the variance in BW EBVs. The surrounding 1 Mb region presented high identity with human, pig and mouse autosomes 8, 4 and 4, respectively, and contains the orthologous height genes PLAG1, CHCHD7, MOS, RPS20, LYN, RDHE2 (SDR16C5) and PENK. The region also overlapped 28 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) previously reported in literature by linkage mapping studies in cattle, including QTLs for birth weight, mature height, carcass weight, stature, pre-weaning average daily gain, calving ease, and gestation length. CONCLUSIONS: This study presents the first GWAS applying a high-density SNP panel to identify putative chromosome regions affecting birth weight in Nellore cattle. These results suggest that the QTLs on BTA14 associated with body size in taurine cattle (Bos primigenius taurus) also affect birth weight and size in zebu cattle (Bos primigenius indicus).
Project description:BACKGROUND:Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays have facilitated discovery of genetic markers associated with complex traits in domestic cattle; thereby enabling modern breeding and selection programs. Genome-wide association analyses (GWAA) for growth traits were conducted on 10,837 geographically diverse U.S. Gelbvieh cattle using a union set of 856,527 imputed SNPs. Birth weight (BW), weaning weight (WW), and yearling weight (YW) were analyzed using GEMMA and EMMAX (via imputed genotypes). Genotype-by-environment (GxE) interactions were also investigated. RESULTS:GEMMA and EMMAX produced moderate marker-based heritability estimates that were similar for BW (0.36-0.37, SE?=?0.02-0.06), WW (0.27-0.29, SE?=?0.01), and YW (0.39-0.41, SE?=?0.01-0.02). GWAA using 856K imputed SNPs (GEMMA; EMMAX) revealed common positional candidate genes underlying pleiotropic QTL for Gelbvieh growth traits on BTA6, BTA7, BTA14, and BTA20. The estimated proportion of phenotypic variance explained (PVE) by the lead SNP defining these QTL (EMMAX) was larger and most similar for BW and YW, and smaller for WW. Collectively, GWAAs (GEMMA; EMMAX) produced a highly concordant set of BW, WW, and YW QTL that met a nominal significance level (P???1e-05), with prioritization of common positional candidate genes; including genes previously associated with stature, feed efficiency, and growth traits (i.e., PLAG1, NCAPG, LCORL, ARRDC3, STC2). Genotype-by-environment QTL were not consistent among traits at the nominal significance threshold (P???1e-05); although some shared QTL were apparent at less stringent significance thresholds (i.e., P???2e-05). CONCLUSIONS:Pleiotropic QTL for growth traits were detected on BTA6, BTA7, BTA14, and BTA20 for U.S. Gelbvieh beef cattle. Seven QTL detected for Gelbvieh growth traits were also recently detected for feed efficiency and growth traits in U.S. Angus, SimAngus, and Hereford cattle. Marker-based heritability estimates and the detection of pleiotropic QTL segregating in multiple breeds support the implementation of multiple-breed genomic selection.
Project description:Carcass traits of beef cattle have been genetically improved to increase yield of high quality meat. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) is a powerful method to identify genetic variants associated with carcass traits. For the 770K genotyped SNPs from 1141 Chinese Simmental cattle, we used the compressed mixed linear model (CMLM) to perform a genome-wide association study for knuckle, biceps and shank of beef carcass traits. Seventeen significantly associated SNPs were found, which are located on BTA6, BTA14 and BTA15. Interestingly, one pleiotropic quantitative trait nucleotide (QTN), named BovineHD1400007259 (p < 10-8) within the well-known gene region PLAG1-CHCHD7 on BTA14, was found to govern variation of the knuckle, biceps and shank traits. The QTN accounted for 8.6% of phenotypic variance for biceps. In addition, 16 more SNPs distributed on BTA14 were detected as being associated with the carcass traits.
Project description:The reproductive performance of bulls has a high impact on the beef cattle industry. Scrotal circumference (SC) is the most recorded reproductive trait in beef herds, and is used as a major selection criterion to improve precocity and fertility. The characterization of genomic regions affecting SC can contribute to the identification of diagnostic markers for reproductive performance and uncover molecular mechanisms underlying complex aspects of bovine reproductive biology. In this paper, we report a genome-wide scan for chromosome segments explaining differences in SC, using data of 861 Nellore bulls (Bos indicus) genotyped for over 777,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms. Loci that excel from the genome background were identified on chromosomes 4, 6, 7, 10, 14, 18 and 21. The majority of these regions were previously found to be associated with reproductive and body size traits in cattle. The signal on chromosome 14 replicates the pleiotropic quantitative trait locus encompassing PLAG1 that affects male fertility in cattle and stature in several species. Based on intensive literature mining, SP4, MAGEL2, SH3RF2, PDE5A and SNAI2 are proposed as novel candidate genes for SC, as they affect growth and testicular size in other animal models. These findings contribute to linking reproductive phenotypes to gene functions, and may offer new insights on the molecular biology of male fertility.
Project description:In recent years, studies on the biological mechanisms underlying complex traits have been facilitated by innovations in high-throughput genotyping technology. We conducted a weighted single-step genome-wide association study (WssGWAS) to evaluate backfat thickness, carcass weight, eye muscle area, marbling score, and yearling weight in a cohort of 1540 Hanwoo beef cattle using BovineSNP50 BeadChip. The WssGWAS uncovered thirty-three genomic regions that explained more than 1% of the additive genetic variance, mostly located on chromosomes 6 and 14. Among the identified window regions, seven quantitative trait loci (QTL) had pleiotropic effects and twenty-six QTL were trait-specific. Significant pathways implicated in the measured traits through Gene Ontology (GO) term enrichment analysis included the following: lipid biosynthetic process, regulation of lipid metabolic process, transport or localization of lipid, regulation of growth, developmental growth, and multicellular organism growth. Integration of GWAS results of the studied traits with pathway and network analyses facilitated the exploration of the respective candidate genes involved in several biological functions, particularly lipid and growth metabolism. This study provides novel insight into the genetic bases underlying complex traits and could be useful in developing breeding schemes aimed at improving growth and carcass traits in Hanwoo beef cattle.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Discerning the traits evolving under neutral conditions from those traits evolving rapidly because of various selection pressures is a great challenge. We propose a new method, composite selection signals (CSS), which unifies the multiple pieces of selection evidence from the rank distribution of its diverse constituent tests. The extreme CSS scores capture highly differentiated loci and underlying common variants hauling excess haplotype homozygosity in the samples of a target population. RESULTS: The data on high-density genotypes were analyzed for evidence of an association with either polledness or double muscling in various cohorts of cattle and sheep. In cattle, extreme CSS scores were found in the candidate regions on autosome BTA-1 and BTA-2, flanking the POLL locus and MSTN gene, for polledness and double muscling, respectively. In sheep, the regions with extreme scores were localized on autosome OAR-2 harbouring the MSTN gene for double muscling and on OAR-10 harbouring the RXFP2 gene for polledness. In comparison to the constituent tests, there was a partial agreement between the signals at the four candidate loci; however, they consistently identified additional genomic regions harbouring no known genes. Persuasively, our list of all the additional significant CSS regions contains genes that have been successfully implicated to secondary phenotypic diversity among several subpopulations in our data. For example, the method identified a strong selection signature for stature in cattle capturing selective sweeps harbouring UQCC-GDF5 and PLAG1-CHCHD7 gene regions on BTA-13 and BTA-14, respectively. Both gene pairs have been previously associated with height in humans, while PLAG1-CHCHD7 has also been reported for stature in cattle. In the additional analysis, CSS identified significant regions harbouring multiple genes for various traits under selection in European cattle including polledness, adaptation, metabolism, growth rate, stature, immunity, reproduction traits and some other candidate genes for dairy and beef production. CONCLUSIONS: CSS successfully localized the candidate regions in validation datasets as well as identified previously known and novel regions for various traits experiencing selection pressure. Together, the results demonstrate the utility of CSS by its improved power, reduced false positives and high-resolution of selection signals as compared to individual constituent tests.
Project description:A major pleiotropic quantitative trait locus (QTL) located at ~25 Mbp on bovine chromosome 14 affects a myriad of growth and developmental traits in Bos taurus and indicus breeds. These QTL have been attributed to two functional variants in the bidirectional promoter of PLAG1 and CHCHD7. Although PLAG1 is a good candidate for mediating these effects, its role remains uncertain given that these variants are also associated with expression of five additional genes at the broader locus. In the current study, we conducted expression QTL (eQTL) mapping of this region using a large, high depth mammary RNAseq dataset representing 375 lactating cows. Here we show that of the seven previously implicated genes, only PLAG1 and LYN are differentially expressed by QTL genotype, and only PLAG1 bears the same association signature of the growth and body weight QTLs. For the first time, we also report significant association of PLAG1 genotype with milk production traits, including milk fat, volume, and protein yield. Collectively, these data strongly suggest PLAG1 as the causative gene underlying this diverse range of traits, and demonstrate new effects for the locus on lactation phenotypes.
Project description:Genetic parameters were estimated for growth, ultrasound, and carcass traits in a Canadian crossbred heavy lamb population. Traits analyzed included birth, weaning, post-weaning, and ultrasound scanning weights; pre- and post-weaning average daily gain; ultrasonically measured eye muscle and fat depths; hot carcass weight; fat depth at the GR site (110 mm from the midline on the 12th rib); carcass conformation scores; saleable meat yield; price grid value; and total carcass value. The impact of three alternative slaughter endpoints (slaughter age, carcass weight, and carcass fatness) on genetic parameter estimates was also evaluated. In general, carcass traits were found to be moderately heritable, with heritability estimates ranging from 0.17 ± 0.02 for hot carcass weight at a constant slaughter age to 0.34 ± 0.02 for average carcass conformation score at a constant carcass weight. Heritability estimates were similar when observations were adjusted to alternative slaughter endpoints, but for some traits, phenotypic variance and genetic correlation estimates differed. Genetic correlations between carcass traits and growth and ultrasound traits were typically favorable. Ultrasonically measured eye muscle depth and fat depth were found to be moderately to strongly positively correlated with hot carcass weight (0.33 ± 0.15 to 0.71 ± 0.19) and fat depth at the GR site (0.38 ± 0.14 to 0.74 ± 0.12), respectively, reaffirming the usefulness of selection on ultrasound traits to improve carcass yield and quality. Genetic correlations among carcass traits were generally favorable, with the exception of moderate unfavorable positive genetic correlations between fat depth at the GR site and primal cut carcass conformation scores (0.31 ± 0.05 to 0.60 ± 0.05). Overall, the results of this research suggest that there is potential to improve carcass yield and quality through genetic selection and provides the population-specific genetic parameter estimates needed for the genetic evaluation of carcass traits in the Canadian sheep population. Nevertheless, the optimal endpoint for carcass trait genetic evaluations will need to be further investigated, considering both the current findings and additional information on production practices in the industry.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Heterosis has been suggested to be caused by dominance effects. We performed a joint genome-wide association analysis (GWAS) using data from multi-breed and crossbred beef cattle to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with significant dominance effects associated with variation in growth and carcass traits and to understand the mode of action of these associations. METHODS:Illumina BovineSNP50 genotypes and phenotypes for 11 growth and carcass traits were available for 6796 multi-breed and crossbred beef cattle. After performing quality control, 42,610 SNPs and 6794 animals were used for further analyses. A single-SNP GWAS for the joint association of additive and dominance effects was conducted in purebred, crossbred, and combined datasets using the ASReml software. Genomic breed composition predicted from admixture analyses was included in the mixed effect model to account for possible population stratification and breed effects. A threshold of 10% genome-wide false discovery rate was applied to declare associations as significant. The significant SNPs with dominance association were mapped to their corresponding genes at 100 kb. RESULTS:Seven SNPs with significant dominance associations were detected for birth weight, weaning weight, pre-weaning daily gain, yearling weight and marbling score across the three datasets at a false discovery rate of 10%. These SNPs were located on bovine chromosomes 1, 3, 4, 6 and 21 and mapped to six putative candidate genes: U6atac, AGBL4, bta-mir-2888-1, REPIN1, ICA1 and NXPH1. These genes have interesting biological functions related to the regulation of gene expression, glucose and lipid metabolism and body fat mass. For most of the identified loci, we observed over-dominance association with the studied traits, such that the heterozygous individuals at any of these loci had greater genotypic values for the trait than either of the homozygous individuals. CONCLUSIONS:Our results revealed very few regions with significant dominance genetic effects across all the traits studied in the three datasets used. Regarding the SNPs that were detected with dominance associations, further investigation is needed to determine their relevance in crossbreeding programs assuming that dominance effects are the main cause of (or contribute usefully to) heterosis.