Impact of single nucleotide polymorphisms in leptin, leptin receptor, growth hormone receptor, and diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT1) gene loci on milk production, feed, and body energy traits of UK dairy cows

G. Banos, J. A. Woolliams, B. W. Woodward, A. B. Forbes, M. P. Coffey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The impact of 9 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the leptin (LEP), leptin receptor (LEPR), growth hormone receptor (GHR), and diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT1) gene loci on daily milk production, feed intake, and feed conversion, and weekly measures of live weight, BCS, and body energy traits was evaluated using genetic and phenotypic data on 571 Holstein cows raised at the Langhill Dairy Cattle Research Center in Scotland. Six SNP were typed on the LEP gene and 1 on each of the other 3 loci. Of the 6 LEP SNP, 3 were in very high linkage disequilibrium, meaning there is little gain in typing all of them in the future. Seven LEP haplotypes were identified by parsimony-based analyses. Random-regression allele-substitution models were used to assess the impact of each SNP allele or haplotype on the traits of interest. Diacylglycerol acyltransferase had a significant effect on milk yield, whereas GHR significantly affected feed intake, feed conversion, and body energy traits. There was also evidence of dominance in allelic effects on milk yield and BCS. The LEP haplotype CCGTTT (corresponding to leptin SNP C207T, C528T, A1457G, C963T, A252T, and C305T, respectively) significantly affected milk yield and feed and dry matter intake. Animals carrying this haplotype produced 3.13 kg more milk daily and consumed 4.64 kg more feed. Furthermore, they tended to preserve more energy than average. Such results may be used to facilitate genetic selection in animal breeding programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3190-3200
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


  • leptin
  • milk
  • growth hormone
  • diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT1)

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