Genetic selection for health traits in the Canadian dairy industry began well over a decade ago but there are still improvements to be made to disease resistance. Previous work by our group has shown animals can be classified based on their immunocompetence and that high immune responders (HIR) have reduced disease incidence compared to their herd mates. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on 4400 Holsteins, using a high density panel (HD), to identify genomic regions associated with immune response traits and subsequently perform a functional analysis. In this study genomic estimates of heritability were 0.37 and 0.16 and pedigree estimates were 0.45 and 0.18 for antibody-mediated immune response (AMIR) and cell-mediated immune response (CMIR), respectively. Results also revealed significant SNPs associated with AMIR and CMIR. Functional analysis indicated that candidate genes identified within or close (±100kb) to these markers regulate unique functions that are associated with AMIR and CMIR, respectively. Therefore, genomic selection to improve immune response traits is a viable option for reducing disease incidence in dairy cattle. Keywords: genome wide association study, dairy cattle, immune response

Bonnie Mallard, Shannon Cartwright, Shadi Nayeri, Mehdi Emam, Mehdi Sargolzaei

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Biology - Disease Resistance 1, , 711, 2018
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