Length of post-partum anoestrus affects pregnancy rates in cattle. Our objective was to predict pregnancy outcome using a selected panel of markers. To select informative markers several experiments were combined in a meta-analysis: 1) genome-wide association studies for post-partum anoestrous interval using two breeds (Brahman and Tropical Composite), 2) hypothalamic gene expression analysis comparing cycling Brahman cows to cows in post-partum anoestrus, 3) identification of transcription factors linked to selected genes, and 4) whole-genome and RNA-sequencing data. A panel of 140 SNP emerged out of this meta-analysis. Its predictive performance was compared to sets of randomly selected SNP. The 140 SNP panel accounted for 29% of additive variation in rebreeding in an independent, multi-breed cow herd, and accounted for more variation than random sets. Selected marker panels based on functional genomics present an alternative to genomic selection procedures in beef cattle.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Species Breeding: Beef cattle, , 250, 2014
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