Variation and genetic control of individual recombination rates in Norwegian red dairy cattle

C. Brekke*, S. E. Johnston, A. B. Gjuvsland, P. Berg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Meiotic recombination is an important evolutionary mechanism that breaks up linkages between loci and creates novel haplotypes for selection to act upon. Understanding the genetic control of variation in recombination rates is therefore of great interest in both natural and domestic breeding populations. In this study, we used pedigree information and medium-density (∼50K) genotyped data in a large cattle (Bos taurus) breeding population in Norway (Norwegian Red cattle) to investigate recombination rate variation between sexes and individual animals. Sex-specific linkage mapping showed higher rates in males than in females (total genetic length of autosomes = 2,492.9 cM in males and 2,308.9 cM in females). However, distribution of recombination along the genome showed little variation between males and females compared with that in other species. The heritability of autosomal crossover count was low but significant in both sexes (h2 = 0.04 and 0.09 in males and females, respectively). We identified 2 loci associated with variation in individual crossover counts in female, one close to the candidate gene CEP55 and one close to both MLH3 and NEK9. All 3 genes have been associated with recombination rates in other cattle breeds. Our study contributes to the understanding of how recombination rates are controlled and how they may vary between closely related breeds as well as between species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1130
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number2
Early online date19 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • genetic diversity
  • genetic shuffling
  • recombination


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