Genes & Genomics

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 285–293 | Cite as

Association of MITF loci with coat color spotting patterns in Ethiopian cattle

  • Zewdu Edea
  • Hailu Dadi
  • Tadelle Dessie
  • Il-Hoi Kim
  • Kwan-Suk Kim
Research Article


The genetics of coat color have been the focus of investigation for decades because beyond its aesthetic values, coat color is associated with thermo-tolerance, production and health traits. Despite the fascinating coat color phenotypes observed in Ethiopian cattle populations, up to now, there are no studies performed to identify and characterize polymorphisms associated with such variation at the genome level. In an attempt to identify and map the genetic basis of coat color variation in Ethiopian cattle, a genome-wide association study (GWAS), selection signatures test and network analysis were performed in 187 cattle populations genotyped on Illumina high-density chip. Loci significant at the genome-wide level (P ≤ 8.29 × 10−7) and show selection signals (F ST  − 5SNP window = 0.13) were mainly localized on BTA22 (31.53–31.99) within the MITF gene. Network and functional annotation clustering analyses revealed that the candidate genes are involved in important pathways including melanogenesis. The results of the present study suggest a role of the MITF gene and its interaction with other genes in determining the spotting patterns observed in the Begait and Fogera cattle populations.


Ethiopian cattle Genome-wide study Spotting patterns 



This work was supported by the research grant of Chungbuk National University in 2014 and Agenda (PJ01040601) of the National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration (RDA), Korea.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Zewdu Edea declares that he has no conflict of interest., Hailu Dadi declares that he has no conflict of interest., Tadelle Dessie declares that he has no conflict of interest., Il-Hoi Kim declares that he has no conflict of interest. Kwan-Suk Kim declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The research was conducted in the absence of any ethical issue on animal research.

Supplementary material

13258_2016_493_MOESM1_ESM.docx (240 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 240 kb)
13258_2016_493_MOESM2_ESM.xls (24 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLS 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Genetics Society of Korea and Springer-Science and Media 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceChungbuk National UniversityCheongjuSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyAddis Ababa Science and Technology UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia
  3. 3.International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)Addis AbabaEthiopia

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