A Million-Cow Genome-Wide Association Study of Three Fertility Traits in U.S. Holstein Cows

Zuoxiang Liang, Dzianis Prakapenka, Paul M. VanRaden, Jicai Jiang, Li Ma, Yang Da

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3 Scopus citations


A genome-wide association study (GWAS) of the daughter pregnancy rate (DPR), cow conception rate (CCR), and heifer conception rate (HCR) using 1,001,374–1,194,736 first-lactation Holstein cows and 75,140–75,295 SNPs identified 7567, 3798, and 726 additive effects, as well as 22, 27, and 25 dominance effects for DPR, CCR, and HCR, respectively, with log10(1/p) > 8. Most of these effects were new effects, and some new effects were in or near genes known to affect reproduction including GNRHR, SHBG, and ESR1, and a gene cluster of pregnancy-associated glycoproteins. The confirmed effects included those in or near the SLC4A4-GC-NPFFR2 and AFF1 regions of Chr06 and the KALRN region of Chr01. Eleven SNPs in the CEBPG-PEPD-CHST8 region of Chr18, the AFF1-KLHL8 region of Chr06, and the CCDC14-KALRN region of Chr01 with sharply negative allelic effects and dominance values for the recessive homozygous genotypes were recommended for heifer culling. Two SNPs in and near the AGMO region of Chr04 that were sharply negative for HCR and age at first calving, but slightly positive for the yield traits could also be considered for heifer culling. The results from this study provided new evidence and understanding about the genetic variants and genome regions affecting the three fertility traits in U.S. Holstein cows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10496
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2023 by the authors.


  • cow conception rate
  • daughter pregnancy rate
  • fertility
  • GWAS
  • heifer conception rate
  • Holstein cow
  • SNP

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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