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Sasaki S.,National Livestock Breeding Center | Ibi T.,Okayama University of Science | Matsuhashi T.,Gifu Prefectural Livestock Research Institute | Takeda K.,Gifu Prefectural Livestock Research Institute | And 3 more authors.
BMC Genetics | Year: 2015

Background: Female fertility, a fundamental trait required for animal reproduction, has gradually declined in the last 2 decades in Japanese Black cattle. To identify associated genetic variants in Japanese Black cattle, we evaluated female fertility as a metric to describe the average inverse of the number of artificial inseminations required for conception from the first through the fourth parity (ANAI4) and conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using 430 animals with extreme ANAI4 values from 10,399 animals. Results: We found that 2 variants, namely a single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP; g.48476925C > T) and a 3-bp indel (g.48476943_48476946insGGC), in the upstream region of the activin receptor IIA gene (ACVR2A) were associated with ANAI4. ACVR2A transcripts from Japanese Black cattle of the Q haplotype, defined by the SNP and the 3-bp indel, with increased ANAI4 were 1.29-1.32-fold more abundant than q-derived transcripts. In agreement, reporter assay results revealed that the activity of the ACVR2A promoter was higher in reporter constructs with the Q haplotype than in those with the q haplotype by approximately 1.2 fold. Expression of exogenous ACVR2A induced dose-dependent increases of reporter activity from the follicle-stimulating hormone, beta polypeptide (FSHB) promoter in response to activin A in a pituitary gonadotrophic cell line. The findings suggested that sequence variations in the upstream region of ACVR2A with the Q haplotype increased ACVR2A transcription, which in turn induced FSHB expression. This association was replicated using a sample population size of 1,433 animals; the frequency of the Q haplotype was 0.39, and Q-to-q haplotype substitution resulted in an increase of 0.02 in terms of ANAI4. Conclusions: This GWAS identified variants in the upstream region of ACVR2A, which were associated with female fertility in Japanese Black cattle. The variants affected the level of ACVR2A mRNA expression, which could lead to an allelic imbalance. This association was replicated with a sample population of 1,433 animals. Thus, the results suggest that the Q haplotype could serve as a useful marker to select Japanese Black cattle with superior female fertility. © 2015 Sasaki et al. Source


Nishimura S.,Shirakawa Institute of Animal Genetics | Watanabe T.,Shirakawa Institute of Animal Genetics | Watanabe T.,National Livestock Breeding Center | Mizoshita K.,Cattle Breeding Development Institute of Kagoshima Prefecture | And 6 more authors.
BMC Genetics | Year: 2012

Background: Significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) for carcass weight were previously mapped on several chromosomes in Japanese Black half-sib families. Two QTL, CW-1 and CW-2, were narrowed down to 1.1-Mb and 591-kb regions, respectively. Recent advances in genomic tools allowed us to perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in cattle to detect associations in a general population and estimate their effect size. Here, we performed a GWAS for carcass weight using 1156 Japanese Black steers.Results: Bonferroni-corrected genome-wide significant associations were detected in three chromosomal regions on bovine chromosomes (BTA) 6, 8, and 14. The associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) on BTA 6 were in linkage disequilibrium with the SNP encoding NCAPG Ile442Met, which was previously identified as a candidate quantitative trait nucleotide for CW-2. In contrast, the most highly associated SNP on BTA 14 was located 2.3-Mb centromeric from the previously identified CW-1 region. Linkage disequilibrium mapping led to a revision of the CW-1 region within a 0.9-Mb interval around the associated SNP, and targeted resequencing followed by association analysis highlighted the quantitative trait nucleotides for bovine stature in the PLAG1-CHCHD7 intergenic region. The association on BTA 8 was accounted for by two SNP on the BovineSNP50 BeadChip and corresponded to CW-3, which was simultaneously detected by linkage analyses using half-sib families. The allele substitution effects of CW-1, CW-2, and CW-3 were 28.4, 35.3, and 35.0 kg per allele, respectively.Conclusion: The GWAS revealed the genetic architecture underlying carcass weight variation in Japanese Black cattle in which three major QTL accounted for approximately one-third of the genetic variance. © 2012 Nishimura et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Sasaki S.,Shirakawa Institute of Animal Genetics | Sasaki S.,National Livestock Breeding Center | Ibi T.,Okayama University | Ikeda S.,Cattle Breeding Development Institute of Kagoshima Prefecture | Sugimoto Y.,Shirakawa Institute of Animal Genetics
Animal Genetics | Year: 2014

Age at first calving (AFC) is an important trait for achieving earlier reproductive performance in cattle. To identify quantitative trait loci for AFC in Japanese Black cattle, we conducted a genome-wide association study using 866 animals with extreme AFC values selected from a larger group of 52 009 animals. We identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on bovine chromosome 2 that were associated with AFC. These SNPs were located within 112.8-kbp intronic region of delta/notch-like EGF repeat containing (DNER) and proved to be in a state of high linkage disequilibrium. The association was replicated in an independent sample of 2963 animals. In the replicated population, the frequency of the reduced AFC allele (Q) was 0.463, and the allele accounts for 8% of the total genetic variance. The effect of allele substitution on AFC was a decrease of 11.54 days. The results suggest that the Q allele could serve as a useful marker in Japanese Black cattle to select animals with superior AFC performance. © 2013 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics. Source


Sasaki S.,Shirakawa Institute of Animal Genetics | Sasaki S.,National Livestock Breeding Center | Ibi T.,Okayama University | Watanabe T.,Shirakawa Institute of Animal Genetics | And 4 more authors.
BMC Genetics | Year: 2013

Background: Calving efficiency can be described as the measure of a cow's ability to produce viable offspring within a specific period of time. This trait is crucial in beef cattle because calves are necessary both for the production of beef and for heifer replacements. Recently, the number of calves produced at 4 years of age (NCP4) has been used to evaluate the calving efficiency of Japanese Black cattle. To identify variants associated with calving efficiency in Japanese Black cattle, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using 688 animals with extreme NCP4 values selected from 15,225 animals.Results: We identified genetic variants on bovine chromosome 12 (BTA12) that were associated with NCP4. The General Transcription Factor IIF, polypeptide 2 (GTF2F2), located in the 132 kbp-associated region, proved to be in strong linkage disequilibrium. We found 15 associated variants in the promoter and the 3' UTR regions. Consistent with this finding, transcripts of GTF2F2 derived from the haplotype (Q) with the increased number of calves were 1.33-fold more abundant than q-derived transcripts. Furthermore, luciferase assays revealed that the activity of the 3' UTR, a region that includes nine SNPs, was higher in constructs with the Q haplotype than in those with the q haplotype by approximately 1.35-fold. In contrast, the activity of the promoter region did not differ between haplotypes. The association was replicated in an independent sample of 827 animals that were randomly selected from the remainder of the cohort from the same farms used in the GWAS. In the replicated population, the frequency of the Q haplotype is 0.313, and this haplotype accounts for 2.69% of the total phenotypic variance. The effect of the Q to q haplotype substitution on NCP4 was 0.054 calves. These findings suggest that variants in the 3' UTR of GTF2F2 affect the level of GTF2F2 mRNA, which is associated with calving efficiency.Conclusions: This GWAS has identified variants in the 3' UTR of GTF2F2 that were associated with the NCP4 of Japanese Black cattle, and this association was validated in an independent sample. The Q haplotype will be immediately useful in improving the calving efficiency of Japanese Black cattle. © 2013 Sasaki et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Weikard R.,Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology | Altmaier E.,Helmholtz Center Munich | Suhre K.,Helmholtz Center Munich | Weinberger K.M.,Biocrates Life Sciences | And 5 more authors.
Physiological Genomics | Year: 2010

Identifying trait-associated genetic variation offers new prospects to reveal novel physiological pathways modulating complex traits. Taking advantage of a unique animal model, we identified the I442M mutation in the non-SMC condensin I complex, subunit G (NCAPG) gene and the Q204X mutation in the growth differentiation factor 8 (GDF8) gene as substantial modulators of pre- and/or postnatal growth in cattle. In a combined metabolomic and genotype association approach, which is the first respective study in livestock, we surveyed the specific physiological background of the effects of both loci on body-mass gain and lipid deposition. Our data provided confirming evidence from two historically and geographically distant cattle populations that the onset of puberty is the key interval of divergent growth. The locus-specific metabolic patterns obtained from monitoring 201 plasma metabolites at puberty mirror the particular NCAPG I442M and GDF8 Q204X effects and represent biosignatures of divergent physiological pathways potentially modulating effects on proportional and disproportional growth, respectively. While the NCAPG I442M mutation affected the arginine metabolism, the 204X allele in the GDF8 gene predominantly raised the carnitine level and had concordant effects on glycerophosphatidylcholines and sphingomyelins. Our study provides a conclusive link between the well-described growth-regulating functions of arginine metabolism and the previously unknown specific physiological role of the NCAPG protein in mammalian metabolism. Owing to the confirmed effect of the NCAPG/LCORL locus on human height in genome-wide association studies, the results obtained for bovine NCAPG might add valuable, comparative information on the physiological background of genetically determined divergent mammalian growth. Copyright © 2010 the American Physiological Society. Source

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