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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Genome-Wide Association Study for Susceptibility to and Recoverability From Mastitis in Danish Holstein Cows

Welderufael, B. G.; Lovendahl, Peter; de Koning, Dirk-Jan; Janss, Lucas L. G.; Fikse, W. F.


Because mastitis is very frequent and unavoidable, adding recovery information into the analysis for genetic evaluation of mastitis is of great interest from economical and animal welfare point of view. Here we have performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and investigate the genetic background not only for susceptibility to - but also for recoverability from mastitis. Somatic cell count records from 993 Danish Holstein cows genotyped for a total of 39378 autosomal SNP markers were used for the association analysis. Single SNP regression analysis was performed using the statistical software package DMU. Substitution effect of each SNP was tested with a t-test and a genome-wide significance level of P-value < 10(-4) was used to declare significant SNP-trait association. A number of significant SNP variants were identified for both traits. Many of the SNP variants associated either with susceptibility to - or recoverability from mastitis were located in or very near to genes that have been reported for their role in the immune system. Genes involved in lymphocyte developments (e.g., MAST3 and STAB2) and genes involved in macrophage recruitment and regulation of inflammations (PDGFD and PTX3) were suggested as possible causal genes for susceptibility to - and recoverability from mastitis, respectively. However, this is the first GWAS study for recoverability from mastitis and our results need to be validated. The findings in the current study are, therefore, a starting point for further investigations in identifying causal genetic variants or chromosomal regions for both susceptibility to - and recoverability from mastitis.


dairy cow; genome-wide association study; mastitis; recoverability; susceptibility

Published in

Frontiers in Genetics
2018, Volume: 9, article number: 141

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        Animal and Dairy Science

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