A Genome-Wide Association Study for Calving Interval in Holstein Dairy Cows Using Weighted Single-Step Genomic BLUP Approach.

Atashi, H and Salavati, M and De Koster, J and Crowe, M and Opsomer, G and Hostens, M and Werling, D (2020) A Genome-Wide Association Study for Calving Interval in Holstein Dairy Cows Using Weighted Single-Step Genomic BLUP Approach. Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 10 (3). ISSN 2076-2615

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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to identify genomic region(s) associated with the length of the calving interval in primiparous (n = 6866) and multiparous (n = 5071) Holstein cows. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) solutions were estimated using a weighted single-step genomic best linear unbiased prediction (WssGBLUP) approach and imputed high-density panel (777 k) genotypes. The effects of markers and the genomic estimated breeding values (GEBV) of the animals were obtained by five iterations of WssGBLUP. The results showed that the accuracies of GEBVs with WssGBLUP improved by +5.4 to +5.7, (primiparous cows) and +9.4 to +9.7 (multiparous cows) percent points over accuracies from the pedigree-based BLUP. The most accurate genomic evaluation was provided at the second iteration of WssGBLUP, which was used to identify associated genomic regions using a windows-based GWAS procedure. The proportion of additive genetic variance explained by windows of 50 consecutive SNPs (with an average of 165 Kb) was calculated and the region(s) that accounted for equal to or more than 0.20% of the total additive genetic variance were used to search for candidate genes. Three windows of 50 consecutive SNPs (BTA3, BTA6, and BTA7) were identified to be associated with the length of the calving interval in primi- and multiparous cows, while the window with the highest percentage of explained genetic variance was located on BTA3 position 49.42 to 49.52 Mb. There were five genes including , , , , and inside the windows associated with the length of the calving interval. The biological process terms including alanine transport, L-alanine transport, proline transport, and glycine transport were identified as the most important terms enriched by the genes inside the identified windows.

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