Genome-Wide Association Study and Pathway Analysis for Female Fertility Traits in Iranian Holstein Cattle
Mohammadi, A.; Alijani, S.; Rafat, S.A.; Abdollahi-Arpanahi, R.
Annals of Animal Science 20(3): 825-851
Female fertility is an important trait that contributes to cow's profitability and it can be improved by genomic information. The objective of this study was to detect genomic regions and variants affecting fertility traits in Iranian Holstein cattle. A data set comprised of female fertility records and 3,-152,73(1 pedigree information from Iranian Holstein cattle were used to predict the breeding values, which were then employed to estimate the de-regressed proofs (DRP) of genotyped animals. A total of 878 animals with DRP records and 54k SNP markers were utilized in the genome-wide association study (GWAS). The GWAS was performed using a linear regression model with SNP genotype as a linear covariate. The results showed that an SNP on BTA19, ARS-BFGL-NGS-33473, was the most significant SNP associated with days from calving to first service. In total, 69 significant SNPs were located within 27 candidate genes. Novel potential candidate genes include OSTN, DPP6, EphA5,CADPS2, Rfc1, ADGRB3, Myo3a, C10H14orf93, KIAA1217, RBPJL, SLC18A2, GARNL3, NCALD, ASPH, ASIC2, OR3A1, CHRNB4, CACNA2D2, DLGAP1, GRIN2A and ME3. These genes are involved in different pathways relevant to female fertility and other characteristics in mammals. Gene set enrichment analysis showed that thirteen GO terms had significant overrepresentation of genes statistically associated with female fertility traits. The results of network analysis identified CCNB1 gene as a hub gene in the progesterone-mediated oocyte maturation pathway, significantly associated with age at first calving. The candidate genes identified in this study can be utilized in genomic tests to improve reproductive performance in Holstein cattle.