Fine Mapping Quantitative Trait Loci Affecting Health and Reproduction in US Holstein Cattle on Chromosome 18

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Title: Fine Mapping Quantitative Trait Loci Affecting Health and Reproduction in US Holstein Cattle on Chromosome 18
Author: Muncie, Sarah Alissa
Advisors: Dr. Dahlia Nielsen, Committee Member
Dr. Eugene Eisen, Committee Member
Dr. Melissa Ashwell, Committee Chair
Abstract: Continued genetic improvement for milk production has been associated with decreased fertility in US Holstein cattle. A previous study (Ashwell et al., 2004) identified a putative quantitative trait locus (QTL) affecting daughter pregnancy rate at 54 cM on chromosome 18 in one Holstein grandsire family. The goal of this research is to determine the validity of the putative QTL using additional markers and an extended pedigree. Thirteen microsatellite markers located throughout the chromosome were genotyped in 973 animals that were descendants of the original grandsire in which the QTL was identified. Sons of the grandsire as well as six grandson and six great-grandson families of the original grandsire were selected for this study (range of 16 to 169 sons per family). In analysis of the sons using QTL Express, the same putative QTL affecting daughter pregnancy rate was detected and placed at 45 cM. In a joint analysis of thirteen of the largest families, each containing 10 or more sons, a significant QTL for daughter pregnancy rate was detected at 27 cM. QTL affecting daughter pregnancy rate was detected in two additional sub-families (Family II-5 and Family III-2), indicating a putative QTL affecting daughter pregnancy rate is most likely segregating within this pedigree. Across-family analysis also detected putative QTL on chromosome 18 affecting productive life at 35 cM, somatic cell score at 33 cM and percent difficult births at 72 cM. Analysis of individual families identified eight significant putative QTL and six suggestive putative QTL at the chromosome-wise level affecting somatic cell score, productive life, calving ease, percent difficult births, milk yield, fat yield, protein yield and fat percent. A complex pedigree analysis is underway to make full use of statistical power to refine the QTL region affecting fertility. Further verification of the QTL effects identified in this study will allow identification of positional candidate genes to be applied in marker assisted breeding programs.
Date: 2005-08-04
Degree: MS
Discipline: Animal Science
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/2751


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