Genome-wide associations for fertility traits in Holstein–Friesian dairy cows using data from experimental research herds in four European countries

D.P. Berry, J.W.M. Bastiaansen, R.F. Veerkamp, S. Wijga, E. Wall, B. Berglund, M.P.L. Calus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Genome-wide association studies for difficult-to-measure traits are generally limited by the sample population size with accurate phenotypic data. The objective of this study was to utilise data on primiparous Holstein–Friesian cows from experimental farms in Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden to identify genomic regions associated with traditional measures of fertility, as well as a fertility phenotype derived from milk progesterone profiles. Traditional fertility measures investigated were days to first heat, days to first service, pregnancy rate to first service, number of services and calving interval (CI); post-partum interval to the commencement of luteal activity (CLA) was derived using routine milk progesterone assays. Phenotypic and genotypic data on 37 590 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were available for up to 1570 primiparous cows. Genetic parameters were estimated using linear animal models, and univariate and bivariate genome-wide association analyses were undertaken using Bayesian stochastic search variable selection performed using Gibbs sampling. Heritability estimates of the traditional fertility traits varied from 0.03 to 0.16; the heritability for CLA was 0.13. The posterior quantitative trait locus (QTL) probabilities, across the genome, for the traditional fertility measures were all
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1206-1215
JournalAnimal
Volume6
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • linkage disequilibrium
  • luteal activity
  • milk-yield
  • cattle
  • selection
  • accuracy
  • information
  • haplotypes
  • endocrine
  • system

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