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Genetic parameters and genome-wide associations of twinning rate in a local breed, the Maremmana cattle

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2017

B. Moioli*
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria (CREA), via Salaria 31, 00015 Monterotondo, Italy
R. Steri
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria (CREA), via Salaria 31, 00015 Monterotondo, Italy
C. Marchitelli
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria (CREA), via Salaria 31, 00015 Monterotondo, Italy
G. Catillo
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria (CREA), via Salaria 31, 00015 Monterotondo, Italy
L. Buttazzoni
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria (CREA), via Salaria 31, 00015 Monterotondo, Italy
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This study seeks to verify the feasibility of increasing twinning in a herd of the Italian autochtonous Maremmana breed. The data set included 1260 individuals born from 1963 to 2014, 527 males and 733 females, 402 of them calving at least once from 1983 through 2015. Breeding values for twinning were estimated by a single-trait linear animal model. However, since twinning is a dichotomous trait and the frequency of twins is far smaller than the frequency of single births, breeding values were also estimated by a single-trait animal threshold model. Heritability of twinning was 0.014±0.018 and 0.062±0.093 for the linear and the threshold models, respectively. Repeatability was 0.071±0.004 and 0.286± 0.012, respectively, for the two models. Genotyping with the Illumina BovineSNP54 BeadChip was performed for cows living on farm in 2012 (119 cows) and a genome-wide association analysis was performed on the corrected phenotype of all calving during the lifespan of each cow, using the GenABEL package in R and a three step GRAMMAR-GC approach. Genomic heritability, calculated from the genomic kinship matrix estimated through genomic marker data, was 0.29±0.021. The most significant detected single nucleotide polymorphisms (Hapmap22923-BTA-129564) was located in proximity of two genes, ARHGAP8 and TMEM200C, which might be potential functional candidates for twinning rate in cattle.

Research Article
© The Animal Consortium 2017 

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