Genome-wide association for milk production and lactation curve parameters in Holstein dairy cows

Hadi Atashi, Mazdak Salavati, J. De Koster, Jim Ehrlich, Mark A Crowe, Geert Opsomer, The GplusE consortium, Miel Hostens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to identify genomic regions associated with 305-d milk yield and lactation curve parameters on primiparous (n = 9,910) and multiparous (n = 11,158) Holstein cows. The SNP solutions were estimated using a weighted single-step genomic BLUP approach and imputed high-density panel (777k) genotypes. The proportion of genetic variance explained by windows of 50 consecutive SNP (with an average of 165 Kb) was calculated and regions that accounted for more than 0.50% of the variance were used to search for candidate genes. Estimated heritabilities were 0.37, 0.34, 0.17, 0.12, 0.30, and 0.19, respectively, for 305-d milk yield, peak yield, peak time, ramp, scale, and decay for primiparous cows. Genetic correlations of 305-d milk yield with peak yield, peak time, ramp, scale and decay in primiparous cows were 0.99, 0.63, 0.20, 0.97, and -0.52, respectively. The results identified three windows on BTA14 associated with 305-d milk yield and the parameters of lactation curve in primi- and multiparous cows. Previously proposed candidate genes for milk yield supported by this work include GRINA, CYHR1, FOXH1, TONSL, PPP1R16A, ARHGAP39, MAF1, OPLAH, and MROH1, whereas newly identified candidate genes are MIR2308, ZNF7, ZNF34, SLURP1, MAFA, and KIFC2, (BTA14). The protein lipidation biological process term which plays a key role in controlling protein localization and function, was identified as the most important term enriched by the identified genes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Early online date1 Oct 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Oct 2019


  • genome-wide association study
  • Holstein
  • lactation curve
  • milk yield


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