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Systematic Review

A Systematic Review of Genomic Regions and Candidate Genes Underlying Behavioral Traits in Farmed Mammals and Their Link with Human Disorders

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Department of Animal Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
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Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock, Department of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
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Farm Animal Genetic Resources Exploration and Innovation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 625014, China
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American Angus Association, Saint Joseph, MI 64506, USA
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Livestock Behavior Research Unit, United States Department of Agriculture—Agricultural Research Service (USDA–ARS), West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
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Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Animal Science and Food Engineering, University of Sao Paulo, Pirassununga 05508, São Paulo, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Michael E. Davis and Zissis Mamuris
Animals 2021, 11(3), 715; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030715
Received: 22 December 2020 / Revised: 21 February 2021 / Accepted: 27 February 2021 / Published: 6 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
This study is a comprehensive review of genomic regions associated with animal behavior in farmed mammals (beef and dairy cattle, pigs, and sheep) which contributes to a better understanding of the biological mechanisms influencing the target indicator trait and to gene expression studies by suggesting genes likely controlling the trait, and it will be useful in optimizing genomic predictions of breeding values incorporating biological information. Behavioral mechanisms are complex traits, genetically controlled by multiple genes spread across the whole genome. The majority of the genes identified in cattle, pigs, and sheep in association with a plethora of behavioral measurements (e.g., temperament, terrain use, milking speed, tail biting, and sucking reflex) are likely controlling stimuli reception (e.g., olfactory), internal recognition of stimuli (e.g., neuroactive ligand–receptor interaction), and body response to a stimulus (e.g., blood pressure, fatty acidy metabolism, hormone signaling, and inflammatory pathways). Six genes were commonly identified between cattle and pigs. About half of the genes for behavior identified in farmed mammals were also identified in humans for behavioral, mental, and neuronal disorders. Our findings indicate that the majority of the genes identified are likely controlling animal behavioral outcomes because their biological functions as well as potentially differing allele frequencies between two breed groups (subjectively) clustered based on their temperament characteristics.
The main objectives of this study were to perform a systematic review of genomic regions associated with various behavioral traits in the main farmed mammals and identify key candidate genes and potential causal mutations by contrasting the frequency of polymorphisms in cattle breeds with divergent behavioral traits (based on a subjective clustering approach). A total of 687 (cattle), 1391 (pigs), and 148 (sheep) genomic regions associated with 37 (cattle), 55 (pigs), and 22 (sheep) behavioral traits were identified in the literature. In total, 383, 317, and 15 genes overlap with genomic regions identified for cattle, pigs, and sheep, respectively. Six common genes (e.g., NR3C2, PITPNM3, RERG, SPNS3, U6, and ZFAT) were found for cattle and pigs. A combined gene-set of 634 human genes was produced through identified homologous genes. A total of 313 out of 634 genes have previously been associated with behavioral, mental, and neurologic disorders (e.g., anxiety and schizophrenia) in humans. Additionally, a total of 491 candidate genes had at least one statistically significant polymorphism (p-value < 0.05). Out of those, 110 genes were defined as having polymorphic regions differing in greater than 50% of exon regions. Therefore, conserved genomic regions controlling behavior were found across farmed mammal species and humans. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal welfare; behavioral genetics; cattle; domestication; livestock behavior; pigs; sheep; temperament; workability animal welfare; behavioral genetics; cattle; domestication; livestock behavior; pigs; sheep; temperament; workability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Alvarenga, A.B.; Oliveira, H.R.; Chen, S.-Y.; Miller, S.P.; Marchant-Forde, J.N.; Grigoletto, L.; Brito, L.F. A Systematic Review of Genomic Regions and Candidate Genes Underlying Behavioral Traits in Farmed Mammals and Their Link with Human Disorders. Animals 2021, 11, 715. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030715

AMA Style

Alvarenga AB, Oliveira HR, Chen S-Y, Miller SP, Marchant-Forde JN, Grigoletto L, Brito LF. A Systematic Review of Genomic Regions and Candidate Genes Underlying Behavioral Traits in Farmed Mammals and Their Link with Human Disorders. Animals. 2021; 11(3):715. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030715

Chicago/Turabian Style

Alvarenga, Amanda B., Hinayah R. Oliveira, Shi-Yi Chen, Stephen P. Miller, Jeremy N. Marchant-Forde, Lais Grigoletto, and Luiz F. Brito. 2021. "A Systematic Review of Genomic Regions and Candidate Genes Underlying Behavioral Traits in Farmed Mammals and Their Link with Human Disorders" Animals 11, no. 3: 715. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030715

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