A Systematic Review of Genomic Regions and Candidate Genes Underlying Behavioral Traits in Farmed Mammals and Their Link with Human Disorders
Department of Animal Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock, Department of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
Farm Animal Genetic Resources Exploration and Innovation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 625014, China
American Angus Association, Saint Joseph, MI 64506, USA
Livestock Behavior Research Unit, United States Department of Agriculture—Agricultural Research Service (USDA–ARS), West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
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
Received: 22 December 2020
Revised: 21 February 2021
Accepted: 27 February 2021
Published: 6 March 2021
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.