Under the assumption that human obesity genes not only regulate fat deposition but also energy homeostasis, we expected effects of those genes on milk fat yield. Therefore, we performed an association study with EBVs for milk fat yield of 2,402 German Holstein bulls. We used SNPs in 2 Mb regions around 317 bovine homologues of human obesity candidate genes. 78 (24.6%) regions harbored 141 SNPs significantly (P<0.05) associated with milk fat yield. Three SNPs were highly significant (P<0.001). 36 SNPs were significantly associated with milk fat and protein yield and 12 SNPs were significant for fat, protein and milk yield. The results confirm that many genes affecting obesity also influence milk fat yield. The information on potential pleiotropic effects can be used to influence the milk fat to protein ratio and can be considered for selecting robust dairy cows.

Lea G Zielke, Ralf H Bortfeldt, Jens Tetens, Georg Thaller, Gudrun A Brockmann

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Genetic Improvement Programs: Selection using molecular information (Posters), , 457, 2014
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