Symposium review: Genetics, genome-wide association study, and genetic improvement of dairy fertility traits

L. Ma, J. B. Cole, Yang Da, P. M. VanRaden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Before fertility traits were incorporated into selection, dairy cattle breeding primarily focused on production traits, which resulted in an unfavorable decline in the reproductive performance of dairy cattle. This reduced fertility is constantly challenging the dairy industry on the efficiency and sustainability of dairy production. Recent development of genomic selection on fertility traits has stabilized and even reversed the decreasing trend, showing the effectiveness of genomic selection. Meanwhile, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been performed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) and candidate genes associated with dairy fertility, providing a better understanding of the genetic architecture of fertility traits. In this review, we provide an overview of the genetics of fertility traits, summarize the findings from existing GWAS of female fertility in dairy cattle, and update the recent research progress in US dairy cattle. Because of the polygenic nature of fertility traits, many GWAS of dairy fertility tended to be underpowered. Only 1 major QTL, on BTA18, was identified across multiple studies. This QTL was associated with a range of fertility traits from conception to calving, but the candidate gene or mutation is still missing. Collectively, with the promising success from genomic selection but low power of GWAS on dairy fertility traits, this review calls for continuous data collection of fertility traits to enable more powerful studies of dairy fertility in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3735-3743
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume102
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

Fingerprint

Genome-Wide Association Study
genetic improvement
dairy cattle
Fertility
dairies
marker-assisted selection
quantitative trait loci
cattle breeding
female fertility
dairy industry
Quantitative Trait Loci
calving
milk production
reproductive performance
genes
mutation
genome-wide association study
Dairying
Breeding

Keywords

  • dairy cattle
  • fertility
  • genome-wide association study
  • genomic selection

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review

Cite this

Symposium review : Genetics, genome-wide association study, and genetic improvement of dairy fertility traits. / Ma, L.; Cole, J. B.; Da, Yang; VanRaden, P. M.

In: Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 102, No. 4, 01.04.2019, p. 3735-3743.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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