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Genome-Wide Association Study for Udder Conformation Traits in Chinese Holstein Cattle

College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China
Joint International Research Laboratory of Agriculture and Agri-Product Safety, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martino Cassandro
Animals 2022, 12(19), 2542;
Received: 11 July 2022 / Revised: 14 September 2022 / Accepted: 20 September 2022 / Published: 22 September 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decoding the Genetics of Bovine Mastitis)
Udder conformation traits are economically important for dairy animals in the dairy industry. Milk production loss can be reduced via a better udder structure in dairy cattle. Udder traits are related to milk production and the somatic cell count, which is a sign of mammary infections (mastitis); as such, it is vital to understand the genetic architecture underlying udder traits in Holstein Friesian cattle for genetic development and long-term selection. Through a GWAS on udder structure traits in Chinese Holstein cattle, we identified several significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and candidate genes associated with udder traits. The results could provide useful information regarding the genetics architecture of udder structure traits, thus improving the genetic information, health, longevity, and production of dairy cattle.
Udder conformation traits are one of the most economic traits in dairy cows, greatly affecting animal health, milk production, and producer profitability in the dairy industry. Genetic analysis of udder structure and scores have been developed in Holstein cattle. In our research, we conducted a genome-wide association study for five udder traits, including anterior udder attachment (AUA), central suspensory ligament (CSL), posterior udder attachment height (PUAH), posterior udder attachment width (PUAW), and udder depth (UD), in which the fixed and random model circulating probability unification (FarmCPU) model was applied for the association analysis. The heritability and the standard errors of these five udder traits ranged from 0.04 ± 0.00 to 0.49 ± 0.03. Phenotype data were measured from 1000 Holstein cows, and the GeneSeek Genomic Profiler (GGP) Bovine 100 K SNP chip was used to analyze genotypic data in Holstein cattle. For GWAS analysis, 984 individual cows and 84,407 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) remained after quality control; a total of 18 SNPs were found at the GW significant threshold (p < 5.90 × 10−7). Many candidate genes were identified within 200kb upstream or downstream of the significant SNPs, which include MGST1, MGST2, MTUS1, PRKN, STXBP6, GRID2, E2F8, CDH11, FOXP1, SLF1, TMEM117, SBF2, GC, ADGRB3, and GCLC. Pathway analysis revealed that 58 Gene Ontology (GO) terms and 18 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways were enriched with adjusted p values, and these GO terms and the KEGG pathway analysis were associated with biological information, metabolism, hormonal growth, and development processes. These results could give valuable biological information for the genetic architecture of udder conformation traits in dairy Holstein cattle. View Full-Text
Keywords: udder structure traits; SNPs; GWAS; FarmCPU; gene network analysis; Holstein cattle udder structure traits; SNPs; GWAS; FarmCPU; gene network analysis; Holstein cattle
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nazar, M.; Abdalla, I.M.; Chen, Z.; Ullah, N.; Liang, Y.; Chu, S.; Xu, T.; Mao, Y.; Yang, Z.; Lu, X. Genome-Wide Association Study for Udder Conformation Traits in Chinese Holstein Cattle. Animals 2022, 12, 2542.

AMA Style

Nazar M, Abdalla IM, Chen Z, Ullah N, Liang Y, Chu S, Xu T, Mao Y, Yang Z, Lu X. Genome-Wide Association Study for Udder Conformation Traits in Chinese Holstein Cattle. Animals. 2022; 12(19):2542.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nazar, Mudasir, Ismail Mohamed Abdalla, Zhi Chen, Numan Ullah, Yan Liang, Shuangfeng Chu, Tianle Xu, Yongjiang Mao, Zhangping Yang, and Xubin Lu. 2022. "Genome-Wide Association Study for Udder Conformation Traits in Chinese Holstein Cattle" Animals 12, no. 19: 2542.

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