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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Genome-Wide Selection Signatures and Human-Mediated Introgression Events in Bos taurus indicus-influenced Composite Beef Cattle

Vahedi, Seyed Milad; Salek Ardestani, Siavash; Pahlevan Afshari, Kian; Ghoreishifar, Seyed Mohammad; Moghaddaszadeh-Ahrabi, Sima; Banabazi, Mohammad Hossein; Brito, Luiz Fernando


Genetic introgression from interbreeding hybridization of European Bos taurus taurus (EBT) and Indian Bos taurus indicus (IBI) cattle breeds have been widely used to combine the climatic resilience of the IBI cattle and the higher productivity of EBT when forming new composite beef cattle (CB) populations. The subsequent breeding strategies have shifted their initial genomic compositions. To uncover population structure, signatures of selection, and potential introgression events in CB populations, high-density genotypes [containing 492,954 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) after the quality control] of 486 individuals from 15 cattle breeds, including EBT, IBI, and CB populations, along with two Bos grunniens genotypes as outgroup were used in this study. Then, in-depth population genetics analyses were performed for three CB breeds of Beefmaster, Brangus, and Santa Gertrudis. Neighbor-joining, principal components, and admixture analyses confirmed the historical introgression of EBT and IBI haplotypes into CB breeds. The f(dM) statistics revealed that only 12.9% of CB populations' genetic components are of IBI origin. The results of signatures of selection analysis indicated different patterns of selection signals in the three CB breeds with primary pressure on pathways involved in protein processing and stress response in Beefmaster, cell proliferation regulation and immune response in Brangus, and amino acids and glucose metabolisms in Santa Gertrudis. An average of >90% of genomic regions underlying selection signatures were of EBT origin in the studied CB populations. Investigating the CB breeds' genome allows the estimation of EBT and IBI ancestral proportions and the locations within the genome where either taurine or indicine origin alleles are under selective pressure. Such findings highlight various opportunities to control the selection process more efficiently and explore complementarity at the genomic level in CB populations.


indicine; taurine; composite beef cattle; population genetics; introgression; recent selection signatures

Published in

Frontiers in Genetics
2022, volume: 13, article number: 844653

Authors' information

Vahedi, Seyed Milad
Dalhousie University
Salek Ardestani, Siavash
Islamic Azad University
Pahlevan Afshari, Kian
Islamic Azad University
Ghoreishifar, Seyed Mohammad
University of Tehran
Moghaddaszadeh-Ahrabi, Sima
Islamic Azad University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Brito, Luiz Fernando
Purdue University

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science
Genetics and Breeding

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