Navigation Links
Important mutation discovered in dairy cattle
Date:1/3/2014

Scientists have discovered a mutation with a built-in dilemma for dairy cattle breeders. The deleted gene sequence has a positive effect on milk yield but causes embryonic death in dairy cattle.

Scientists have found a genomic deletion that affects fertility and milk yield in dairy cattle at the same time. The discovery can help explain a dilemma in dairy cattle breeding: the negative correlation between fertility and milk production.

For the past many years milk yield in Scandinavian dairy cattle has gone in one clear direction: up. This has been due to targeted breeding programmes and modern breeding methods. Despite putting large weight in the breeding goal in Nordic countries, almost no improvement is achieved for fertility. It now seems that this unfavourable correlation between milk yield and fertility is partially affected by a deletion of a simple gene sequence. The presence and effects of this mutation have recently been discovered by scientists from Aarhus University, University of Lige, MTT Agrifood Research Finland, in collaboration with the Danish Agricultural Advisory Service and the Nordic Cattle Genetic Evaluation.

Scientists, farmers and advisors have generally assumed that the reduction in fertility is primarily due to the negative energy balance of high-producing cows at the peak of their lactation but now the scientists have also found a genetic explanation.

We have discovered a deletion encompassing four genes as the causative variant and shown that the deletion is a recessive embryonically lethal mutation, explains Goutam Sahana. This means that the calves die while they are still embryos and are aborted or reported as insemination failure. The fact that the mutation is recessive means that both parents must carry it and pass the genes on to their calf for the calf to be affected. The bulls carrying the deletion can be routinely identified in on-going genomic selection program and by avoiding carrier-by-carrier matings a quantum jump in fertility could be achieved in Nordic red breeds, adds Goutam Sahana.

Can't have your cake and eat it too

To make matters worse, this particular mutation has become rather common in Nordic Red cattle, however, the deletion is totally absent in Nordic Holstein and Danish Jersey populations. Based on the frequency of the mutation in the population, it is estimated that 2.89, 1.32 and 0.42% of embryos are dying in Finnish Ayshire, Swedish Red and Danish Red cattle respectively due to this mutation.

The reason that the deleted gene sequence causing embryo mortality has become relatively widespread is that it has such as strong positive effect on milk yield. By selecting for high milk yields, breeders have inadvertently also selected for embryo mortality a situation of so-called hitchhiking.

Our study demonstrates that embryonic lethal mutations account for a non-negligible fraction of the decline in fertility of domestic cattle and that associated positive effects on milk yield may account for part of the negative genetic correlation. This is at least the seventh example in livestock of an allele that is deleterious in the homozygous state being maintained at high frequency in the populations because of the selective advantage it confers to heterozygotes.

Read the scientific article in PloS Genetics here.


'/>"/>

Contact: Goutam Sahana
goutam.sahana@agrsci.dk
45-87-15-75-01
Aarhus University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Enzyme BACE1 may be important in predicting onset of Alzheimer disease
2. An important discovery related to anxiety disorders and trauma
3. Dads: How important are they?
4. Salk scientists crack riddle of important drug target
5. Protecting the weedy and wild kin of globally important crops
6. Global analysis reveals new insights into the ribosome -- with important implications for disease
7. UdeMs IRIC and IRICoR achieve important milestone in their collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb
8. New cell component important to tea and wine-making
9. Singapore scientists discover new RNA processing pathway important in human embryonic stem cells
10. Goldschmidt2014 -- The worlds most important Geochemistry conference
11. New study reveals important role of insulin in making breast milk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/11/2016)... 2016 http://www.apimages.com ) - --> ... available at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - ... to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling ... in Hanover next week.   --> ... used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... , March 10, 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: ... Border Protection (CBP) is testing its biometric identity solution ... Diego to help identify certain non-U.S. citizens leaving ... The test, designed to help determine the efficiency and accuracy ... in February and will run until May 2016. --> ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... BEACH GARDENS, Fla. , March 9, 2016 ... identity management authentication and enrollment solutions, today announced ... DigitalPersona ® Altus multi-factor authentication ... IT and InfoSec managers to step-up security where ... Washington, DC . ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... Q BioMed Inc. (OTCQB: QBIO), a biotechnology acceleration ... at the 5th Annual Marcum MicroCap Conference on Thursday, June ... at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The Company,s presentation ... scheduled to begin at 11a.m ET in the Broadway Room. ... and outline milestones for the balance of 2016 and beyond. ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... After several promising treatments ... at the City of Knowledge in Panama, a 6 year-old Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy ... earlier this year following FDA approval of a second application for a single ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... cuvettes are used in leading laboratories all over the globe. Their cute firefly ... addition to manufacturing awesome cuvettes, FireflySci makes spectrophotometer calibration standards that never require ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... delegation at BIO 2016 in San Francisco. Located at booth number 7301, representatives ... to answer questions and discuss the Thai biotechnology and life sciences sector. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: