GWAS and eQTL analysis identifies a SNP associated with both residual feed intake and GFRA2 expression in beef cattle
AuthorHiggins, Marc G.
McClure, Matthew C.
Kenny, David A.
Waters, Sinead M.
Morris, Derek W.
KeywordResidual Feed Intake (RFI)
Single nucleotide polymorphisms
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS)
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CitationHiggins MG, Fitzsimons C, McClure MC, McKenna C, Conroy S, Kenny DA, McGee M, Waters SM, Morris DW. GWAS and eQTL analysis identifies a SNP associated with both residual feed intake and GFRA2 expression in beef cattle. Scientific Reports 2018;8(1):14301; doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-32374-6.
AbstractResidual feed intake (RFI), a measure of feed efficiency, is an important economic and environmental trait in beef production. Selection of low RFI (feed efficient) cattle could maintain levels of production, while decreasing feed costs and methane emissions. However, RFI is a difficult and expensive trait to measure. Identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with RFI may enable rapid, cost effective genomic selection of feed efficient cattle. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were conducted in multiple breeds followed by meta-analysis to identify genetic variants associated with RFI and component traits (average daily gain (ADG) and feed intake (FI)) in Irish beef cattle (n = 1492). Expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis was conducted to identify functional effects of GWAS-identified variants. Twenty-four SNPs were associated (P < 5 × 10−5) with RFI, ADG or FI. The variant rs43555985 exhibited strongest association for RFI (P = 8.28E-06). An eQTL was identified between this variant and GFRA2 (P = 0.0038) where the allele negatively correlated with RFI was associated with increased GFRA2 expression in liver. GFRA2 influences basal metabolic rates, suggesting a mechanism by which genetic variation may contribute to RFI. This study identified SNPs that may be useful both for genomic selection of RFI and for understanding the biology of feed efficiency.
FunderDepartment of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
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