The aim of this study was to fine-map a genomic region associated with milk fatty acids (FA) on Bos taurus autosome (BTA) 17. This genomic region has been discovered with 50,000 (50k) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) imputed to 777,000 (777k) SNP. In this study, high-density genotypes were imputed to whole-genome sequences level to identify candidate gene(s) associated with milk FA composition on BTA17. Phenotypes and genotypes were available for 1,640 cows sampled in winter, and for 1,581 cows sampled in summer. Phenotypes consisted of gas chromatography measurements in winter and in summer milk samples of 6 individual FA and the indicator of de novo synthesis, C6:0-C14:0. Genotypes consisted of imputed 777k SNP, and 89 sequenced ancestors of the population of genotyped cows. In addition, 450 whole-genome sequences from the 1,000 Bull Genome Consortium were available. Using 495 Holstein-Friesian sequences as a reference population, the 777k SNP genotypes of the cows were imputed to sequence level. We then applied single-variant analyses with an animal model, and identified thousands of significant associations with C6:0, C8:0, C10:0, C12:0, C14:0, and C6:0-C14:0. For C8:0 in summer milk samples, the genomic region located between 29 and 34 Mbp on BTA17 revealed a total of 646 significant associations. The most significant associations [-log10(P-value) = 7.82] were 8 SNP in perfect linkage disequilibrium. After fitting one of these 8 SNP as a fixed effect in the model, and re-running the single-variant analyses, no further significant associations were found for any of the 6 FA or C6:0-C14:0. These findings suggest that one polymorphism underlying this QTL on BTA17 influences multiple de novo synthesized milk FA. Thirteen genes in the QTL region were identified and analyzed carefully. Six out of the 8 SNP that showed the strongest associations were located in the La ribonucleoprotein domain family, member 1B (LARP1B) gene, and we suggest LARP1B as a primary candidate gene. Another gene of interest for this QTL region might be PKL4. None of these suggested candidate genes have previously been associated with milk fat synthesis or milk FA composition.
- Genome-wide association studies
- Milk fat composition
- Quantitative trait loci