Direct Phenotyping and Principal Component Analysis of Type Traits Implicate Novel QTL in Bovine Mastitis through Genome-Wide Association
Miles, Asha M.
Posbergh, Christian J.
Huson, Heather J.
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Our objectives were to robustly characterize a cohort of Holstein cows for udder and teat type traits and perform high-density genome-wide association studies for those traits within the same group of animals, thereby improving the accuracy of the phenotypic measurements and genomic association study. Additionally, we sought to identify a novel udder and teat trait composite risk index to determine loci with potential pleiotropic effects related to mastitis. This approach was aimed at improving the biological understanding of the genetic factors influencing mastitis. Cows (N = 471) were genotyped on the Illumina BovineHD777k beadchip and scored for front and rear teat length, width, end shape, and placement; fore udder attachment; udder cleft; udder depth; rear udder height; and rear udder width. We used principal component analysis to create a single composite measure describing type traits previously linked to high odds of developing mastitis within our cohort of cows. Genome-wide associations were performed, and 28 genomic regions were significantly associated (Bonferroni-corrected p < 0.05). Interrogation of these genomic regions revealed a number of biologically plausible genes whicht may contribute to the development of mastitis and whose functions range from regulating cell proliferation to immune system signaling, including ZNF683, DHX9, CUX1, TNNT1, and SPRY1. Genetic investigation of the risk composite trait implicated a novel locus and candidate genes that have potentially pleiotropic effects related to mastitis.
Miles, A.M.; Posbergh, C.J.; Huson, H.J. Direct Phenotyping and Principal Component Analysis of Type Traits Implicate Novel QTL in Bovine Mastitis through Genome- Wide Association. Animals 2021, 11, 1147.