Previous work by our group has consistently identified relationships between immune-associated (IA) traits and dairy cow health, fertility and productivity. Furthermore we observed that these associations are partly under genetic control. SNP genotype data relating to 548 Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were used to carry out a genome-wide association study of IA traits previously linked to production, health and fertility. The present study discovered 96 SNPs across the bovine genome that were significantly associated with defined IA traits, most notably SNP on chromosome 17 and natural antibodies in a region previously linked with ptosis, intellectual disability, retarded growth and mortality (PIRM) syndrome in cattle. Moreover, 22 SNP were found to be common across 2 to 3 IA traits. A functional cluster analysis was carried out on significant SNPs and showed 9 clusters of genes linked to various immune response and inflammation genes as well as significant associations with biological pathways such as systemic lupus erythematosus and metabolic processes. Results from the present study have highlighted potentially useful SNPs for inclusion in future animal breeding programs. Keywords: dairy cow, GWAS, immune-associated trait

Scott John Denholm, Tom N McNeilly, Mike P Coffey, George C Russell, Georgios Banos, Arjan Tolkamp, Jennifer E Coe, Ainsley Bagnall, Mairi C Mitchell, Eileen Wall

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Biology - Disease Resistance 1, , 657, 2018
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