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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Genetic parameters and weighted single-step genome-wide association study for supernumerary teats in Holstein cattle

Wen, H.; Luo, H.; Yang, M.; Augustino, S. M. A.; Wang, D.; Mi, S.; Guo, Y.; Zhang, Y.; Xiao, W.; Wang, Y.; Yu, Y.


Supernumerary teats (SNT) are a common epidermal abnormality of udders in mammals. The SNT negatively affect machine milking ability, udder health, and animal welfare and sometimes act as reservoirs for undesirable bacteria, resulting in economic losses on calves and lactating cows due to the cost of SNT removal surgery, early culling, and low milk yield. This study aimed to analyze the incidence and genetic parameter of SNT and detect SNT-related genes in Chinese Holstein cattle. In this study, the incidence of SNT was recorded in 4,670 Chinese Holstein cattle (born between 2008 and 2017) from 2 farms, including 734 genotyped cows with 114,485 SNPs. The SNT had a total frequency of 9.8% and estimated heritability of 0.22 (SE = 0.07), which were obtained using a threshold model in the studied Chinese Holstein population. Furthermore, we calculated approximate genetic corre-lations between SNT and the following indicator traits: 12 milk production, 28 body conformation, 5 fertility and reproduction, 5 health, and 9 longevity. Generally, the estimated correlations, such as 305-d milk yield for third parity (-0.55; SE = 0.02) and age at first calving in heifer (0.19; SE = 0.03), were low to moderate. A single-step GWAS was implemented, and 10 genes asso-ciated with SNT located in BTA4 were identified. The region (112.70-112.90 Mb) on BTA4 showed the high -est genetic variance for SNT. The quantitative trait loci on BTA4 was mapped into the RARRES2 gene, which was previously shown to affect adipogenesis and hormone secretion. The WIF1 gene, which was located in BTA5, was also considered as a candidate gene for SNT. Overall, these findings provide useful information for breeders who are interested in reducing SNT.


supernumerary teat; Chinese Holstein; genetic parameter; single-step genome-wide association study

Published in

Journal of Dairy Science
2021, Volume: 104, number: 11, pages: 11867-11877 Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science

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