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Genome-wide association analyses for growth and feed efficiency traits in beef cattle.

ABSTRACT

A genome-wide association study using the Illumina 50K BeadChip included 38,745 SNP on 29 BTA analyzed on 751 animals, including 33 purebreds and 718 crossbred cattle. Genotypes and 6 production traits: birth weight (BWT), weaning weight (WWT), ADG, DMI, midtest metabolic BW (MMWT), and residual feed intake (RFI), were used to estimate effects of individual SNP on the traits. At the genome-wide level false discovery rate (FDR < 10%), 41 and 5 SNP were found significantly associated with BWT and WWT, respectively. Thirty-three of them were located on BTA6. At a less stringent significance level (P < 0.001), 277 and 27 SNP were in association with single traits and multiple traits, respectively. Seventy-three SNP on BTA6 and were mostly associated with BW-related traits, and heavily located around 30 to 50Mb. Markers that significantly affected multiple traits appeared to impact them in same direction. In terms of the size of SNP effect, the significant SNP (P < 0.001) explained between 0.26 and 8.06% of the phenotypic variation in the traits. Pairs of traits with low genetic correlation, such as ADG vs. RFI or DMI vs. BWT, appeared to be controlled by 2 groups of SNP; 1 of them affected the traits in same direction, the other worked in opposite direction. This study provides useful information to further assist the identification of chromosome regions and subsequently genes affecting growth and feed efficiency traits in beef cattle.