Genome Association Study for Visual Scores in Nellore Cattle Measured at Weaning

Luis Orlando Duitama Carreño, Matilde Da Conceição Pessoa, Rafael Espigolan, Luciana Takada, Tiago Bresolin, Ligia Cavani, Fernando Baldi, Roberto Carvalheiro, Lucia Galvão De Albuquerque, Ricardo Da Fonseca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are utilized in cattle to identify regions or genetic variants associated with phenotypes of interest, and thus, to identify design strategies that allow for the increase of the frequency of favorable alleles. Visual scores are important traits of cattle production in Brazil because they are utilized as selection criteria, helping to choose more harmonious animals. Despite its importance, there are still no studies on the genome association for these traits. This study aimed to identify genome regions associated with the traits of conformation, precocity and muscling, based on a visual score measured at weaning. Results: Bayesian approaches with BayesC and Bayesian LASSO were utilized with 2873 phenotypes of Nellore cattle for a GWAS. The animals were genotyped with Illumina BovineHD BeadChip, and a total of 309,865 SNPs were utilized after quality control. In the analyses, phenotype and deregressed breeding values were utilized as dependent variables; a threshold model was utilized for the former and a linear model for the latter. The association criterion was the percentage of genetic variance explained by SNPs found in 1 Mb-long windows. The Bayesian approach BayesC was better adjusted to the data because it could explain a larger phenotypic variance for both dependent variables. Conclusions: There were no large effects for the visual scores, indicating that they have a polygenic nature; however, regions in chromosomes 1, 3, 5, 7, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20 and 23 were identified and explained a large part of the genetic variance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number150
JournalBMC genomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 20 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • BayesC
  • Bayesian LASSO
  • Growth genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics


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