Understanding of animal behavior is an important step to promote sustainable beef production, improving feed efficiency and animal welfare. The objective of this study was to identify candidate genes associated with feeding behavior traits including feeding event frequency (FREQ) and daily feeding duration (DUR) in crossbred beef cattle. The phenotypes were collected using the GrowSafe system during performance tests carried out between 2003 and 2013. The average of FREQ and DUR were calculated for 3,509 and 3,511 animals, respectively. After quality control, 3,529 genotyped animals and 37,298 SNPs remained. The genome-wide association analyses were performed using the weighted single-step GBLUP method. The results were reported as proportion of additive genetic variance explained by each window of 20 consecutive SNPs. The top 10 SNP-windows with the major effects for each trait were located on chromosomes 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14 and 16 for FREQ and 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 20, 23 and 28 for DUR. These regions explained 12.96% and 10.29% of the additive genetic variance and contain 17 and 163 positional candidate genes for FREQ and DUR, respectively. Potential genomic regions and candidate genes were identified and may improve the biological understanding of feeding behavior traits in beef cattle. Keywords: feeding behavior, genome-wide association study

Tiago Valente, Mohammed Abo-Ismail, John Crowley, John Basarab, Graham Plastow

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Biology - Feed Intake and Efficiency 1, , 234, 2018
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