Genome-wide association study for longevity with whole-genome sequencing in 3 cattle breeds

Qianqian Zhang*, Bernt Guldbrandtsen, Jørn Rind Thomasen, Mogens Sandø Lund, Goutam Sahana

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Longevity is an important economic trait in dairy production. Improvements in longevity could increase the average number of lactations per cow, thereby affecting the profitability of the dairy cattle industry. Improved longevity for cows reduces the replacement cost of stock and enables animals to achieve the highest production period. Moreover, longevity is an indirect indicator of animal welfare. Using whole-genome sequencing variants in 3 dairy cattle breeds, we carried out an association study and identified 7 genomic regions in Holstein and 5 regions in Red Dairy Cattle that were associated with longevity. Meta-analyses of 3 breeds revealed 2 significant genomic regions, located on chromosomes 6 (META-CHR6-88MB) and 18 (META-CHR18-58MB). META-CHR6-88MB overlaps with 2 known genes: neuropeptide G-protein coupled receptor (NPFFR2; 89,052,210-89,059,348 bp) and vitamin D-binding protein precursor (GC; 88,695,940-88,739,180 bp). The NPFFR2 gene was previously identified as a candidate gene for mastitis resistance. META-CHR18-58MB overlaps with zinc finger protein 717 (ZNF717; 58,130,465-58,141,877 bp) and zinc finger protein 613 (ZNF613; 58,115,782-58,117,110 bp), which have been associated with calving difficulties. Information on longevity-associated genomic regions could be used to find causal genes/variants influencing longevity and exploited to improve the reliability of genomic prediction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7289-7298
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Cattle
  • Genome-wide association study
  • Longevity
  • Whole-genome sequencing


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