Genome-wide scan reveals population stratification and footprints of recent selection in Nelore cattle.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:This study aimed at (1) assessing the genomic stratification of experimental lines of Nelore cattle that have experienced different selection regimes for growth traits, and (2) identifying genomic regions that have undergone recent selection. We used a sample of 763 animals genotyped with the Illumina BovineHD BeadChip, among which 674 animals originated from two lines that are maintained under directional selection for increased yearling body weight and 89 animals from a control line that is maintained under stabilizing selection. RESULTS:Multidimensional analysis of the genomic dissimilarity matrix and admixture analysis revealed a substantial level of population stratification between the directional selection lines and the stabilizing selection control line. Two of the three tests used to detect selection signatures (FST, XP-EHH and iHS) revealed six candidate regions with indications of selection, which strongly indicates truly positive signals. The set of identified candidate genes included several genes with roles that are functionally related to growth metabolism, such as COL14A1, CPT1C, CRH, TBC1D1, and XKR4. CONCLUSIONS:The current study identified genetic stratification that resulted from almost four decades of divergent selection in an experimental Nelore population, and highlighted autosomal genomic regions that present patterns of recent selection. Our findings provide a basis for a better understanding of the metabolic mechanism that underlies the growth traits, which are modified by selection for yearling body weight.
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:Nelore is the most economically important cattle breed in Brazil, and the use of genetically improved animals has contributed to increased beef production efficiency. The Brazilian beef feedlot industry has grown considerably in the last decade, so the selection of animals with higher growth rates on feedlot has become quite important. Genomic selection (GS) could be used to reduce generation intervals and improve the rate of genetic gains. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prediction of genomic-estimated breeding values (GEBV) for average daily weight gain (ADG) in 718 feedlot-finished Nelore steers. Analyses of three Bayesian model specifications [Bayesian GBLUP (BGBLUP), BayesA, and BayesC?] were performed with four genotype panels [Illumina BovineHD BeadChip, TagSNPs, and GeneSeek High- and Low-density indicus (HDi and LDi, respectively)]. Estimates of Pearson correlations, regression coefficients, and mean squared errors were used to assess accuracy and bias of predictions. Overall, the BayesC? model resulted in less biased predictions. Accuracies ranged from 0.18 to 0.27, which are reasonable values given the heritability estimates (from 0.40 to 0.44) and sample size (568 animals in the training population). Furthermore, results from Bos taurus indicus panels were as informative as those from Illumina BovineHD, indicating that they could be used to implement GS at lower costs.
Project description:Nelore is the major beef cattle breed in Brazil with more than 130 million heads. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are often used to associate markers and genomic regions to growth and meat quality traits that can be used to assist selection programs. An alternative methodology to traditional GWAS that involves the construction of gene network interactions, derived from results of several GWAS is the AWM (Association Weight Matrices)/PCIT (Partial Correlation and Information Theory). With the aim of evaluating the genetic architecture of Brazilian Nelore cattle, we used high-density SNP genotyping data (~770,000 SNP) from 780 Nelore animals comprising 34 half-sibling families derived from highly disseminated and unrelated sires from across Brazil. The AWM/PCIT methodology was employed to evaluate the genes that participate in a series of eight phenotypes related to growth and meat quality obtained from this Nelore sample.Our results indicate a lack of structuring between the individuals studied since principal component analyses were not able to differentiate families by its sires or by its ancestral lineages. The application of the AWM/PCIT methodology revealed a trio of transcription factors (comprising VDR, LHX9 and ZEB1) which in combination connected 66 genes through 359 edges and whose biological functions were inspected, some revealing to participate in biological growth processes in literature searches.The diversity of the Nelore sample studied is not high enough to differentiate among families neither by sires nor by using the available ancestral lineage information. The gene networks constructed from the AWM/PCIT methodology were a useful alternative in characterizing genes and gene networks that were allegedly influential in growth and meat quality traits in Nelore cattle.
Project description:Multiple studies have investigated selection signatures in domestic cattle and other species. However, there is a dearth of information about the response to selection in genomes of highly admixed crossbred cattle in relation to production and adaptation to tropical environments. In this study, we evaluated 839 admixed crossbred cows sampled from two major dairy regions in Tanzania namely Rungwe and Lushoto districts, in order to understand their genetic architecture and detect genomic regions showing preferential selection. Animals were genotyped at 150,000 SNP loci using the Geneseek Genomic Profiler (GGP) High Density (HD) SNP array. Population structure analysis showed a large within-population genetic diversity in the study animals with a high degree of variation in admixture ranging between 7 and 100% taurine genes (dairyness) of mostly Holstein and Friesian ancestry. We explored evidence of selection signatures using three statistical methods (iHS, XP-EHH, and pcadapt). Selection signature analysis identified 108 candidate selection regions in the study population. Annotation of these regions yielded interesting genes potentially under strong positive selection including ABCG2, ABCC2, XKR4, LYN, TGS1, TOX, HERC6, KIT, PLAG1, CHCHD7, NCAPG, and LCORL that are involved in multiple biological pathways underlying production and adaptation processes. Several candidate selection regions showed an excess of African taurine ancestral allele dosage. Our results provide further useful insight into potential selective sweeps in the genome of admixed cattle with possible adaptive and productive importance. Further investigations will be necessary to better characterize these candidate regions with respect to their functional significance to tropical adaptations for dairy cattle.
Project description:Improving the genetic process of growth traits is one of the major goals in the beef cattle industry, as it can increase meat production and reduce the cost of raising animals. Although several quantitative trait loci affecting growth traits in beef cattle have been identified, the genetic architecture of these economically important traits remains elusive. This study aims to map single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and genes associated with birth weight (BW), yearling weight (YW), average daily gain from birth to yearling (BYADG), and body weight at the age of 18 months (18MW) in a Chinese Simmental beef cattle population using a weighted, single-step, genome-wide association study (wssGWAS). Phenotypic and pedigree data from 6022 animals and genotypes from 744 animals (596,297 SNPs) were used for an association analysis. The results showed that 66 genomic windows explained 1.01-20.15% of the genetic variance for the four examined traits, together with the genes near the top SNP within each window. Furthermore, the identified genomic windows (>1%) explained 50.56%, 57.71%, 61.78%, and 37.82% of the genetic variances for BW, YW, BYADG, and 18MW, respectively. Genes with potential functions in muscle development and regulation of cell growth were highlighted as candidates for growth traits in Simmental cattle (SQOR and TBCB for BW, MYH10 for YW, RLF for BYADG, and ARHGAP31 for 18MW). Moreover, we found 40 SNPs that had not previously been identified as being associated with growth traits in cattle. These findings will further advance our understanding of the genetic basis for growth traits and will be useful for the molecular breeding of BW, YW, BYADG, and 18MW in the context of genomic selection in beef cattle.
Project description:Studies are being conducted on the applicability of genomic data to improve the accuracy of the selection process in livestock, and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) provide valuable information to enhance the understanding on the genetics of complex traits. The aim of this study was to identify genomic regions and genes that play roles in birth weight (BW), weaning weight adjusted for 210 days of age (WW), and long-yearling weight adjusted for 420 days of age (LYW) in Canchim cattle. GWAS were performed by means of the Generalized Quasi-Likelihood Score (GQLS) method using genotypes from the BovineHD BeadChip and estimated breeding values for BW, WW, and LYW. Data consisted of 285 animals from the Canchim breed and 114 from the MA genetic group (derived from crossings between Charolais sires and ½ Canchim + ½ Zebu dams). After applying a false discovery rate correction at a 10% significance level, a total of 4, 12, and 10 SNPs were significantly associated with BW, WW, and LYW, respectively. These SNPs were surveyed to their corresponding genes or to surrounding genes within a distance of 250 kb. The genes DPP6 (dipeptidyl-peptidase 6) and CLEC3B (C-type lectin domain family 3 member B) were highlighted, considering its functions on the development of the brain and skeletal system, respectively. The GQLS method identified regions on chromosome associated with birth weight, weaning weight, and long-yearling weight in Canchim and MA animals. New candidate regions for body weight traits were detected and some of them have interesting biological functions, of which most have not been previously reported. The observation of QTL reports for body weight traits, covering areas surrounding the genes (SNPs) herein identified provides more evidence for these associations. Future studies targeting these areas could provide further knowledge to uncover the genetic architecture underlying growth traits in Canchim cattle.
Project description:Directional dominance is a prerequisite of inbreeding depression. Directionality arises when selection drives alleles that increase fitness to fixation and eliminates dominant deleterious alleles, while deleterious recessives are hidden from it and maintained at low frequencies. Traits under directional selection (i.e., fitness traits) are expected to show directional dominance and therefore an increased susceptibility to inbreeding depression. In contrast, traits under stabilizing selection or weakly linked to fitness are predicted to exhibit little-to-no inbreeding depression. Here, we quantify the extent of inbreeding depression in a range of male reproductive characters and then infer the mode of past selection on them. The use of transgenic populations of Drosophila melanogaster with red or green fluorescent-tagged sperm heads permitted in vivo discrimination of sperm from competing males and quantification of characteristics of ejaculate composition, performance, and fate. We found that male attractiveness (mating latency) and competitive fertilization success (P2) both show some inbreeding depression, suggesting they may have been under directional selection, whereas sperm length showed no inbreeding depression suggesting a history of stabilizing selection. However, despite having measured several sperm quality and quantity traits, our data did not allow us to discern the mechanism underlying the lowered competitive fertilization success of inbred (f = 0.50) males.
Project description:The causal mutation for polledness in Nelore (Bos taurus indicus) breed seems to have appeared first in Brazil in 1957. The expression of the polled trait is known to be ruled by a few groups of alleles in taurine breeds; however, the genetic basis of this trait in indicine cattle is still unclear. The aim of this study was to identify genomic regions associated with the hornless trait in a commercial Nelore population. A total of 107,294 animals had phenotypes recorded and 2,238 were genotyped/imputed for 777k SNP. The weighted single-step approach for genome-wide association study (WssGWAS) was used to estimate the SNP effects and variances accounted for by 1 Mb sliding SNP windows. A centromeric region of chromosome 1 with 3.11 Mb size (BTA1: 878,631-3,987,104 bp) was found to be associated with hornless in the studied population. A total of 28 protein-coding genes are mapped in this region, including the taurine Polled locus and the IFNAR1, IFNAR2, IFNGR2, KRTAP11-1, MIS18A, OLIG1, OLIG2, and SOD1 genes, which expression can be related to the horn formation as described in literature. The functional enrichment analysis by DAVID tool revealed cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, JAK-STAT signaling, natural killer cell mediated cytotoxicity, and osteoclast differentiation pathways as significant (P < 0.05). In addition, a runs of homozygosity (ROH) analysis identified a ROH island in polled animals with 2.47 Mb inside the region identified by WssGWAS. Polledness in Nelore cattle is associated with one region in the genome with 3.1 Mb size in chromosome 1. Several genes are harbored in this region, and they may act together in the determination of the polled/horned phenotype. Fine mapping the locus responsible for polled trait in Nelore breed and the identification of the molecular mechanisms regulating the horn growth deserve further investigation.
Project description:Sexual dimorphism evolves when selection favors different phenotypic optima between the sexes. Such sexually antagonistic selection creates intralocus sexual conflict when traits are genetically correlated between the sexes and have sex-specific optima. Brown anoles are highly sexually dimorphic: Males are on average 30% longer than females and 150% heavier in our study population. Viability selection on body size is known to be sexually antagonistic, and directional selection favors large male size whereas stabilizing selection constrains females to remain small. We build on previous studies of viability selection by measuring sexually antagonistic selection using reproductive components of fitness over three generations in a natural population of brown anoles. We estimated the number of offspring produced by an individual that survived to sexual maturity (termed RS<sup>V</sup>), a measure of individual fitness that includes aspects of both individual reproductive success and offspring survival. We found directional selection on male body size, consistent with previous studies of viability selection. However, selection on female body size varied among years, and included periods of positive directional selection, quadratic stabilizing selection, and no selection. Selection acts differently in the sexes based on both survival and reproduction and sexual conflict appears to be a persistent force in this species.
Project description:Modularity is a central concept in modern biology, providing a powerful framework for the study of living organisms on many organizational levels. Two central and related questions can be posed in regard to modularity: How does modularity appear in the first place, and what forces are responsible for keeping and/or changing modular patterns? We approached these questions using a quantitative genetics simulation framework, building on previous results obtained with bivariate systems and extending them to multivariate systems. We developed an individual-based model capable of simulating many traits controlled by many loci with variable pleiotropic relations between them, expressed in populations subject to mutation, recombination, drift, and selection. We used this model to study the problem of the emergence of modularity, and hereby show that drift and stabilizing selection are inefficient at creating modular variational structures. We also demonstrate that directional selection can have marked effects on the modular structure between traits, actively promoting a restructuring of genetic variation in the selected population and potentially facilitating the response to selection. Furthermore, we give examples of complex covariation created by simple regimes of combined directional and stabilizing selection and show that stabilizing selection is important in the maintenance of established covariation patterns. Our results are in full agreement with previous results for two-trait systems and further extend them to include scenarios of greater complexity. Finally, we discuss the evolutionary consequences of modular patterns being molded by directional selection.