Whole genome scan to detect quantitative trait loci for conformation and functional traits in dairy cattle

C. Schrooten, H. Bovenhuis, W. Coppieters, J.A.M. van Arendonk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

146 Citations (Scopus)


A granddaughter design was used to locate quantitative trait loci determining conformation and functional traits in dairy cattle. In this granddaughter design, consisting of 20 Holstein Friesian grandsires and 833 sons, genotypes were determined for 277 microsatellite markers covering the whole genome. Breeding values for 27 traits, regarding conformation (18), fertility (2), birth (4), workability (2), and udder health (1), were evaluated in an across-family analysis using multimarker regression. Significance thresholds were determined using a permutation test. The across-family analysis suggested the presence of 61 quantitative trait loci when 27 (i.e., one for each trait) were expected by chance. The test statistic exceeded the genomewise significance threshold for the following traits and chromosomes: chest width on chromosome 2; gestation length on chromosome 4; stature, body capacity, and size on chromosome 5; dairy character on chromosome 6; angularity on chromosome 12; fore udder attachment on chromosome 13; and fore udder attachment and front teat placement on chromosome 19. The quantitative trait loci for size traits on chromosomes 2, 5, and 6 may also have an effect on calving ease. The quantitative trait loci for udder traits on chromosomes 13 and 19 may also affect somatic cell score and mastitis resistance. If there are no negative effects on other economically important traits, marker assisted selection using markers associated with these quantitative trait loci can be applied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-806
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Conformation
  • Functional traits
  • Quantitative trait loci
  • Whole genome scan


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