Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Overlapping chromosomal regions for fertility traits and production traits in the Danish Holstein population

Höglund, Johanna Karolina; Buitenhuis, A. J.; Guldbrandtsen, B.; Su, G.; Thomsen, B.; Lund, M.S.


Before implementing selection based on quantitative trait loci (QTL) for fertility, it is important to determine the existence of correlated effects between the fertility QTL and QTL with effects on production traits. When a QTL is detected for a trait that is a composite of subtraits, it is of interest to validate which of the subtraits are affected by the QTL. Phenotypic and marker data were collected from 34 grandsire families from the Danish Holstein population. First, the trait data for "fertility treatments" were separated into their underlying subtraits: uterine infections, antibiotics placed in the placenta, and abortions. In addition, retained placenta was selected for analysis because it is related to uterine infections. A genome scan was performed using 416 microsatellite markers for the fertility treatment subtraits and retained placenta, and an additional genome scan for milk production traits conditional on the QTL regions for the subtraits and retained placenta was conducted. Second, we selected 24 genomic regions harboring QTL for fertility traits from a previous study. A QTL scan for milk production traits conditional on the selected regions was conducted. We found that 16 selected genomic regions containing a QTL for fertility (including the fertility treatment subtraits and retained placenta) also harbored QTL for milk yield or milk composition traits. Furthermore, 12 QTL regions corresponding to 9 different fertility traits (including the fertility treatment subtraits) did not harbor a QTL for milk production or milk composition traits; that is, the region was specific for the fertility trait. The genome scan for the fertility treatment subtraits did not correspond to the QTL found for fertility treatments. No QTL were detected for the subtrait abortion, however genome scans for retained placenta revealed 4 different QTL.


quantitative trait locus; female fertility; milk production trait; cattle

Published in

Journal of Dairy Science
2009, Volume: 92, number: 11, pages: 5712-5719

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Clinical Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)