[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In dairy cattle, the widespread use of artificial insemination has resulted in increased selection intensity, which has led to spectacular increase in productivity. However, cow fertility has concomitantly severely declined. It is generally assumed that this reduction is primarily due to the negative energy balance of high-producing cows at the peak of lactation. We herein describe the fine-mapping of a major fertility QTL in Nordic Red cattle, and identify a 660-kb deletion encompassing four genes as the causative variant. We show that the deletion is a recessive embryonically lethal mutation. This probably results from the loss of RNASEH2B, which is known to cause embryonic death in mice. Despite its dramatic effect on fertility, 13%, 23% and 32% of the animals carry the deletion in Danish, Swedish and Finnish Red Cattle, respectively. To explain this, we searched for favorable effects on other traits and found that the deletion has strong positive effects on milk yield. This study demonstrates that embryonic lethal mutations account for a non-negligible fraction of the decline in fertility of domestic cattle, and that associated positive effects on milk yield may account for part of the negative genetic correlation. Our study adds to the evidence that structural variants contribute to animal phenotypic variation, and that balancing selection might be more common in livestock species than previously appreciated.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leigh syndrome is an early onset, often fatal progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by mutations in the mitochondrial or nuclear DNA. Until now, mutations in more than 35 genes have been reported to cause Leigh syndrome, indicating an extreme genetic heterogeneity for this disorder, but still only explaining part of the cases. The possibility of whole exome sequencing enables not only mutation detection in known candidate genes, but also the identification of new genes associated with Leigh syndrome in small families and isolated cases. Exome sequencing was combined with homozygosity mapping to identify the genetic defect in a Moroccan family with fatal Leigh syndrome in early childhood and specific magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities in the brain. We detected a homozygous nonsense mutation (c.20C>A; p.Ser7Ter) in the thiamine transporter SLC19A3. In vivo overexpression of wild-type SLC19A3 showed an increased thiamine uptake, whereas overexpression of mutant SLC19A3 did not, confirming that the mutation results in an absent or non-functional protein. Seventeen additional patients with Leigh syndrome were screened for mutations in SLC19A3 using conventional Sanger sequencing. Two unrelated patients, both from Moroccan origin and one from consanguineous parents, were homozygous for the same p.Ser7Ter mutation. One of these patients showed the same MRI abnormalities as the patients from the first family. Strikingly, patients receiving thiamine had an improved life-expectancy. One patient in the third family deteriorated upon interruption of the thiamine treatment and recovered after reinitiating. Although unrelated, all patients came from the province Al Hoceima in Northern Morocco. Based on the recombination events the mutation was estimated to have occurred 1250-1750 years ago. Our data shows that SLC19A3 is a new candidate for mutation screening in patients with Leigh syndrome, who might benefit from high doses of thiamine and/or biotin. Especially, Moroccan patients with Leigh syndrome should be tested for the c.20C>A founder mutation in SLC19A3.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A genome-wide linkage scan was conducted in a Northern-European multigenerational pedigree with nine of 40 related members affected with concomitant strabismus. Twenty-seven members of the pedigree including all affected individuals were genotyped using a SNP array interrogating > 300,000 common SNPs. We conducted parametric and non-parametric linkage analyses assuming segregation of an autosomal dominant mutation, yet allowing for incomplete penetrance and phenocopies. We detected two chromosome regions with near-suggestive evidence for linkage, respectively on chromosomes 8 and 18. The chromosome 8 linkage implied a penetrance of 0.80 and a rate of phenocopy of 0.11, while the chromosome 18 linkage implied a penetrance of 0.64 and a rate of phenocopy of 0. Our analysis excludes a simple genetic determinism of strabismus in this pedigree.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(12):e83574. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Colour sidedness is a dominantly inherited phenotype of cattle characterized by the polarization of pigmented sectors on the flanks, snout and ear tips. It is also referred to as 'lineback' or 'witrik' (which means white back), as colour-sided animals typically display a white band along their spine. Colour sidedness is documented at least since the Middle Ages and is presently segregating in several cattle breeds around the globe, including in Belgian blue and brown Swiss. Here we report that colour sidedness is determined by a first allele on chromosome 29 (Cs(29)), which results from the translocation of a 492-kilobase chromosome 6 segment encompassing KIT to chromosome 29, and a second allele on chromosome 6 (Cs(6)), derived from the first by repatriation of fused 575-kilobase chromosome 6 and 29 sequences to the KIT locus. We provide evidence that both translocation events involved circular intermediates. This is the first example, to our knowledge, of a phenotype determined by homologous yet non-syntenic alleles that result from a novel copy-number-variant-generating mechanism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fertility is one of the most important traits in dairy cattle, and has been steadily declining over the last decades. We herein use state-of-the-art genomic tools, including high-throughput SNP genotyping and next-generation sequencing, to identify a 3.3 Kb deletion in the FANCI gene causing the brachyspina syndrome (BS), a rare recessive genetic defect in Holstein dairy cattle. We determine that despite the very low incidence of BS (<1/100,000), carrier frequency is as high as 7.4% in the Holstein breed. We demonstrate that this apparent discrepancy is likely due to the fact that a large proportion of homozygous mutant calves die during pregnancy. We postulate that several other embryonic lethals may segregate in livestock and significantly compromise fertility, and propose a genotype-driven screening strategy to detect the corresponding deleterious mutations.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e43085. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report mapping of a quantitative trait locus (QTL) with a major effect on bovine stature to a ∼780-kb interval using a Hidden Markov Model-based approach that simultaneously exploits linkage and linkage disequilibrium. We re-sequenced the interval in six sires with known QTL genotype and identified 13 clustered candidate quantitative trait nucleotides (QTNs) out of >9,572 discovered variants. We eliminated five candidate QTNs by studying the phenotypic effect of a recombinant haplotype identified in a breed diversity panel. We show that the QTL influences fetal expression of seven of the nine genes mapping to the ∼780-kb interval. We further show that two of the eight candidate QTNs, mapping to the PLAG1-CHCHD7 intergenic region, influence bidirectional promoter strength and affect binding of nuclear factors. By performing expression QTL analyses, we identified a splice site variant in CHCHD7 and exploited this naturally occurring null allele to exclude CHCHD7 as single causative gene.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The widespread use of elite sires by means of artificial insemination in livestock breeding leads to the frequent emergence of recessive genetic defects, which cause significant economic and animal welfare concerns. Here we show that the availability of genome-wide, high-density SNP panels, combined with the typical structure of livestock populations, markedly accelerates the positional identification of genes and mutations that cause inherited defects. We report the fine-scale mapping of five recessive disorders in cattle and the molecular basis for three of these: congenital muscular dystony (CMD) types 1 and 2 in Belgian Blue cattle and ichthyosis fetalis in Italian Chianina cattle. Identification of these causative mutations has an immediate translation into breeding practice, allowing marker assisted selection against the defects through avoidance of at-risk matings.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We recently used a positional cloning approach to identify a nonconservative lysine to alanine substitution (K232A) in the bovine DGAT1 gene that was proposed to be the causative quantitative trait nucleotide underlying a quantitative trait locus (QTL) affecting milk fat composition, previously mapped to the centromeric end of bovine chromosome 14. We herein generate genetic and functional data that confirm the causality of the DGAT1 K232A mutation. We have constructed a high-density single-nucleotide polymorphism map of the 3.8-centimorgan BULGE30-BULGE9 interval containing the QTL and show that the association with milk fat percentage maximizes at the DGAT1 gene. We provide evidence that the K allele has undergone a selective sweep. By using a baculovirus expression system, we have expressed both DGAT1 alleles in Sf9 cells and show that the K allele, causing an increase in milk fat percentage in the live animal, is characterized by a higher Vmax in producing triglycerides than the A allele.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2004; 101(8):2398-403. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We recently used a positional cloning approach to identify a nonconservative lysine to alanine substitution (K232A) in the bovine DGAT1 gene that was proposed to be the causative quantitative trait nucleotide underlying a quantitative trait locus (QTL) affecting
milk fat composition, previously mapped to the centromeric end of bovine chromosome 14. We herein generate genetic and functional
data that confirm the causality of the DGAT1 K232A mutation. We have constructed a high-density single-nucleotide polymorphism map of the 3.8-centimorgan BULGE30–BULGE9 interval containing the QTL and show that the association with milk fat percentage maximizes at the DGAT1 gene. We provide evidence that the K allele has undergone a selective sweep. By using a baculovirus expression system, we have expressed both DGAT1 alleles in Sf9 cells and show that the K allele, causing an increase in milk fat percentage in the live animal, is characterized by a higher V
max in producing triglycerides than the A allele.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2004; 101(8):2398-2403. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We herein report on our efforts to improve the mapping resolution of a QTL with major effect on milk yield and composition that was previously mapped to bovine chromosome 20. By using a denser chromosome 20 marker map and by exploiting linkage disequilibrium using two distinct approaches, we provide strong evidence that a chromosome segment including the gene coding for the growth hormone receptor accounts for at least part of the chromosome 20 QTL effect. By sequencing individuals with known QTL genotype, we identify an F to Y substitution in the transmembrane domain of the growth hormone receptor gene that is associated with a strong effect on milk yield and composition in the general population.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A maximum-likelihood QTL mapping method that simultaneously exploits linkage and linkage disequilibrium and that is applicable in outbred half-sib pedigrees is described. The method is applied to fine map a QTL with major effect on milk fat content in a 3-cM marker interval on proximal BTA14. This proximal location is confirmed by applying a haplotype-based association method referred to as recombinant ancestral haplotype analysis. The origin of the discrepancy between the QTL position derived in this work and that of a previous analysis is examined and shown to be due to the existence of distinct marker haplotypes associated with QTL alleles having large substitution effects.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We recently mapped a quantitative trait locus (QTL) with a major effect on milk composition--particularly fat content--to the centromeric end of bovine chromosome 14. We subsequently exploited linkage disequilibrium to refine the map position of this QTL to a 3-cM chromosome interval bounded by microsatellite markers BULGE13 and BULGE09. We herein report the positional candidate cloning of this QTL, involving (1) the construction of a BAC contig spanning the corresponding marker interval, (2) the demonstration that a very strong candidate gene, acylCoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT1), maps to that contig, and (3) the identification of a nonconservative K232A substitution in the DGAT1 gene with a major effect on milk fat content and other milk characteristics.
Genome Research 03/2002; 12(2):222-31. · 14.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A genome-wide linkage disequilibrium (LD) map was generated using microsatellite genotypes (284 autosomal microsatellite loci) of 581 gametes sampled from the dutch black-and-white dairy cattle population. LD was measured between all marker pairs, both syntenic and nonsyntenic. Analysis of syntenic pairs revealed surprisingly high levels of LD that, although more pronounced for closely linked marker pairs, extended over several tens of centimorgan. In addition, significant gametic associations were also shown to be very common between nonsyntenic loci. Simulations using the known genealogies of the studied sample indicate that random drift alone is likely to account for most of the observed disequilibrium. No clear evidence was obtained for a direct effect of selection ("Bulmer effect"). The observation of long range disequilibrium between syntenic loci using low-density marker maps indicates that LD mapping has the potential to be very effective in livestock populations. The frequent occurrence of gametic associations between nonsyntenic loci, however, encourages the combined use of linkage and linkage disequilibrium methods to avoid false positive results when mapping genes in livestock.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A whole genome scan was undertaken in a granddaughter design comprising 1158 progeny-tested bulls in order to map QTL influencing
milk yield and composition. In this paper we report the identification of a locus on the centromeric end of bovine Chromosome
(Chr) 14, with major effect on fat and protein percentage as well as milk yield. The genuine nature of this QTL was verified
using the grand2-daughter design, that is, by tracing the segregating QTL alleles from heterozygous grandsires to their maternal grandsons
and confirming the predicted QTL allele substitution effect.