Within-breed and multi-breed GWAS on imputed whole-genome sequence variants reveal candidate mutations affecting milk protein composition in dairy cattle

Abstract : AbstractBackgroundGenome-wide association studies (GWAS) were performed at the sequence level to identify candidate mutations that affect the expression of six major milk proteins in Montbéliarde (MON), Normande (NOR), and Holstein (HOL) dairy cattle. Whey protein (α-lactalbumin and β-lactoglobulin) and casein (αs1, αs2, β, and κ) contents were estimated by mid-infrared (MIR) spectrometry, with medium to high accuracy (0.59 ≤ R2 ≤ 0.92), for 848,068 test-day milk samples from 156,660 cows in the first three lactations. Milk composition was evaluated as average test-day measurements adjusted for environmental effects. Next, we genotyped a subset of 8080 cows (2967 MON, 2737 NOR, and 2306 HOL) with the BovineSNP50 Beadchip. For each breed, genotypes were first imputed to high-density (HD) using HD single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotypes of 522 MON, 546 NOR, and 776 HOL bulls. The resulting HD SNP genotypes were subsequently imputed to the sequence level using 27 million high-quality sequence variants selected from Run4 of the 1000 Bull Genomes consortium (1147 bulls). Within-breed, multi-breed, and conditional GWAS were performed.ResultsThirty-four distinct genomic regions were identified. Three regions on chromosomes 6, 11, and 20 had very significant effects on milk composition and were shared across the three breeds. Other significant effects, which partially overlapped across breeds, were found on almost all the autosomes. Multi-breed analyses provided a larger number of significant genomic regions with smaller confidence intervals than within-breed analyses. Combinations of within-breed, multi-breed, and conditional analyses led to the identification of putative causative variants in several candidate genes that presented significant protein–protein interactions enrichment, including those with previously described effects on milk composition (SLC37A1, MGST1, ABCG2, CSN1S1, CSN2, CSN1S2, CSN3, PAEP, DGAT1, AGPAT6) and those with effects reported for the first time here (ALPL, ANKH, PICALM).ConclusionsGWAS applied to fine-scale phenotypes, multiple breeds, and whole-genome sequences seems to be effective to identify candidate gene variants. However, although we identified functional links between some candidate genes and milk phenotypes, the causality between candidate variants and milk protein composition remains to be demonstrated. Nevertheless, the identification of potential causative mutations that underlie milk protein composition may have immediate applications for improvements in cheese-making.
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Genetics Selection Evolution, BioMed Central, 2017, 49 (1), pp.68. 〈10.1186/s12711-017-0344-z〉
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Marie-Pierre Sanchez, Armelle Govignon-Gion, Pascal Croiseau, Sébastien Fritz, Chris Hozé, et al.. Within-breed and multi-breed GWAS on imputed whole-genome sequence variants reveal candidate mutations affecting milk protein composition in dairy cattle. Genetics Selection Evolution, BioMed Central, 2017, 49 (1), pp.68. 〈10.1186/s12711-017-0344-z〉. 〈hal-01589691〉

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