We genotyped 58 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 25 candidate genes in about 800 Italian Holstein sires. Fifty-six (minor allele frequency >0.02) were used to evaluate their association with single traits: milk yield (MY), milk fat yield (FY), milk protein yield (PY), milk fat percentage (FP), milk protein percentage (PP), milk somatic cell count (MSCC); and complex indexes: longevity, fertility and productivity-functionality type (PFT), using deregressed proofs, after adjustment for familial relatedness. Thirty-two SNPs were significantly associated (proportion of false positives <0.05) with different traits: 16 with MSCC, 15 with PY, 14 with MY, 12 with PFT, eight with longevity, eight with FY, eight with PP, five with FP and two with fertility. In particular, a SNP in the promoter region of the PRLR gene was associated with eight of nine traits. DGAT1 polymorphisms were highly associated with FP and FY. Casein gene markers were associated with several traits, confirming the role of the casein gene cluster in affecting milk yield, milk quality and health traits. Other SNPs in genes located on chromosome 6 were associated with PY, PP, PFT, MY (PPARGC1A) and MSCC (KIT). This latter association may suggest a biological link between the degree of piebaldism in Holstein and immunological functions affecting somatic cell count and mastitis resistance. Other significant SNPs were in the ACACA, CRH, CXCR1, FASN, GH1, LEP, LGB (also known as PAEP), MFGE8, SRC, TG, THRSP and TPH1 genes. These results provide information that can complement QTL mapping and genome-wide association studies in Holstein. © 2014 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.
- Holstein cattle
- gene association