Interval and composite interval mapping of somatic cell score, yield, and components of milk in dairy cattle

S. L. Rodriguez-Zas, B. R. Southey, D. W. Heyen, H. A. Lewin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Single-marker, interval-mapping (IM) and composite interval mapping (CIM) were used to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling milk, fat and protein yields, and somatic cell score (SCS). A granddaughter design was used to combine molecular genetic information with predicted transmitting abilities (PTA) and estimated daughter yield deviations (DYD) from eight Dairy Bull DNA Repository Holstein families. Models that included and excluded weights accounting for the uncertainty of the response variable were evaluated in each trait, family and phenotype (DYD and PTA) combination. The genotypic information consisted of 174 microsatellite markers along 29 Bos taurus autosomes. The average number of informative markers per autosome was three and the number of informative sons per family and marker varied between 21 and 173. Within-family results from the least squares single-marker analyses were used in expectation-maximization likelihood IM and CIM implemented with QTL Cartographer. Different CIM model specifications, offering complementary control on the background QTL outside the interval under study, were evaluated. Permutation techniques were used to calculate the genome-wide threshold test statistic values based on 1000 samples. Results from the DYD and PTA analyses were highly consistent across traits and families. The minor differences in the estimates from the models that accounted for or ignored the uncertainty of the DYD (variance) and PTA (inverse of reliability) maybe associated to the elevated and consistent precision of the DYD and PTA among sons. The CIM model best supported by the data had 10 markers controlling for background effects. On autosome (BTA) three, a QTL at 32 cM influencing protein yield was located in family five and a QTL at 74 cM for fat yield was located in family eight. Two map positions associated with SCS were detected on BTA 21, one at 33 cM in family one and the other at 84 cM in family three. A QTL for protein yield was detected between 26 and 36 cM on BTA six, family six, and a QTL for milk yield was detected at 116 cM on BTA seven in family three. The IM and CIM approaches detected a QTL at 3 cM on BTA 14 influencing fat yield in family four. Two map positions on BTA 29 were associated with significant variation of milk (0 cM) and fat yield (14 cM) in family seven. These results suggest the presence of one QTL with pleiotropic effects on multiple traits or multiple QTL within the marker interval. Findings from this study could be used in subsequent fine-mapping work and applied to marker-assisted selection of dairy production and health traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3081-3091
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2002


  • Composite interval mapping
  • Outbred population
  • Quantitative trait loci
  • Weighted analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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