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A mammary gland EST showing linkage disequilibrium to a milk production QTL on bovine Chromosome 14

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As part of a genome scan, ESTs derived from mammary gland tissue of a lactating cow were used as candidate genes for quantitative trait loci (QTL), affecting milk production traits. Resource families were genotyped with 247 microsatellite markers and 4 polymorphic ESTs. It was shown by linkage analysis that one of these ESTs, KIEL_E8, mapped to the centromeric region of bovine Chromosome (Chr) 14. Regression analysis revealed the presence of a QTL, with significant effect on milk production, in this chromosome region, and analysis of variance showed no significant interaction of marker genotype and family. The estimated significant differences between homozygous marker genotypes were 140 kg milk, −5.02 kg fat yield, and 2.58 kg protein yield for the first 100 days of lactation. Thus, there was strong evidence for a complete or nearly complete linkage disequilibrium between KIEL_E8 and the QTL. To identify the biological function of KIEL_E8, we extended the sequence for 869 bp by 5′-RACE. A 560-bp fragment of this shows a 90.9% similarity to a gene encoding a cysteine- and histidine-rich cytoplasmic protein in mouse. Although such a protein may have a regulatory function for lactation and a linkage disequilibrium between the EST marker and the QTL has been observed, it remains to be elucidated whether they are identical or not. Nevertheless, KIEL_E8 will be an efficient marker to perform marker-assisted selection in the Holstein-Friesian population.

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Received 20 October 2000 / Accepted: 11 April 2001

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Looft, C., Reinsch, N., Karall-Albrecht, C. et al. A mammary gland EST showing linkage disequilibrium to a milk production QTL on bovine Chromosome 14. Mammalian Genome 12, 646–650 (2001).

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