Genomic regions and candidate genes associated with milk production traits in Holstein and its crossbred cattle: A review
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are a powerful tool for identifying genomic regions and causative genes associated with economically important traits in dairy cattle, particularly complex traits, such as milk production. This is possible due to advances in next-generation sequencing technology. This review summarized information on identified candidate genes and genomic regions associated with milk production traits in Holstein and its crossbreds from various regions of the world. Milk production traits are important in dairy cattle breeding programs because of their direct economic impact on the industry and their close relationship with nutritional requirements. GWAS has been used in a large number of studies to identify genomic regions and candidate genes associated with milk production traits in dairy cattle. Many genomic regions and candidate genes have already been identified in Holstein and its crossbreds. Genes and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that significantly affect milk yield (MY) were found in all autosomal chromosomes except chromosomes 27 and 29. Half of the reported SNPs associated with fat yield and fat percentage were found on chromosome 14. However, a large number of significant SNPs for protein yield (PY) and protein percentage were found on chromosomes 1, 5, and 20. Approximately 155 SNPs with significant influence on multiple milk production traits have been identified. Several promising candidate genes, including diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase 1, plectin, Rho GTPase activating protein 39, protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 16A, and sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase 5 were found to have pleiotropic effects on all five milk production traits. Thus, to improve milk production traits it is of practical relevance to focus on significant SNPs and pleiotropic genes frequently found to affect multiple milk production traits.