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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Whole Genome Scan Uncovers Candidate Genes Related to Milk Production Traits in Barka Cattle

Ayalew, Wondossen; Wu, Xiaoyun; Tarekegn, Getinet Mekuriaw; Sisay Tessema, Tesfaye; Naboulsi, Rakan; Van Damme, Renaud; Bongcam-Rudloff, Erik; Edea, Zewdu; Chu, Min; Enquahone, Solomon; Liang, Chunnian; Yan, Ping


In this study, our primary aim was to explore the genomic landscape of Barka cattle, a breed recognized for high milk production in a semi-arid environment, by focusing on genes with known roles in milk production traits. We employed genome-wide analysis and three selective sweep detection methods (ZFST, theta pi ratio, and ZHp) to identify candidate genes associated with milk production and composition traits. Notably, ACAA1, P4HTM, and SLC4A4 were consistently identified by all methods. Functional annotation highlighted their roles in crucial biological processes such as fatty acid metabolism, mammary gland development, and milk protein synthesis. These findings contribute to understanding the genetic basis of milk production in Barka cattle, presenting opportunities for enhancing dairy cattle production in tropical climates. Further validation through genome-wide association studies and transcriptomic analyses is essential to fully exploit these candidate genes for selective breeding and genetic improvement in tropical dairy cattle.


Barka cattle; milk production traits; selection signature; whole genome sequencing

Published in

International Journal of Molecular Sciences
2024, Volume: 25, number: 11, article number: 6142
Publisher: MDPI