Research Article

Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 genes are associated with milk production, body condition score and fertility traits in dairy cows

Published: August 26, 2011
Genet. Mol. Res. 10 (3) : 1819-1830 DOI: 10.4238/vol10-3gmr1173

Abstract

The somatotrophic axis (GH-IGF) is a key regulator of animal growth and development, affecting performance traits that include milk production, growth rate, body composition, and fertility. The aim of this study was to quantify the association of previously identified SNPs in bovine growth hormone (GH1) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) genes with direct performance trait measurements of lactation and fertility in Holstein-Friesian lactating dairy cows. Sixteen SNPs in both IGF-1 and GH1 were genotyped across 610 cows and association analyses were carried out with traits of economic importance including calving interval, pregnancy rate to first service and 305-day milk production, using animal linear mixed models accounting for additive genetic effects. Two IGF-1 SNPs, IGF1i1 and IGF1i2, were significantly associated with body condition score at calving, while a single IGF-1 SNP, IGF1i3, was significantly associated with milk production, including milk yield (means ± SEM; 751.3 ± 262.0 kg), fat yield (21.3 ± 10.2 kg) and protein yield (16.5 ± 8.0 kg) per lactation. Only one GH1 SNP, GH33, was significantly associated with milk protein yield in the second lactation (allele substitution effect of 9.8 ± 5.0 kg). Several GH1 SNPs were significantly associated with fertility, including GH32, GH35 and GH38 with calving to third parity (22.4 ± 11.3 days) (GH32 and GH38 only), pregnancy rate to first service (0.1%) and overall pregnancy rate (0.05%). The results of this study demonstrate the effects of variants of the somatotrophic axis on milk production and fertility traits in commercial dairy cattle.

The somatotrophic axis (GH-IGF) is a key regulator of animal growth and development, affecting performance traits that include milk production, growth rate, body composition, and fertility. The aim of this study was to quantify the association of previously identified SNPs in bovine growth hormone (GH1) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) genes with direct performance trait measurements of lactation and fertility in Holstein-Friesian lactating dairy cows. Sixteen SNPs in both IGF-1 and GH1 were genotyped across 610 cows and association analyses were carried out with traits of economic importance including calving interval, pregnancy rate to first service and 305-day milk production, using animal linear mixed models accounting for additive genetic effects. Two IGF-1 SNPs, IGF1i1 and IGF1i2, were significantly associated with body condition score at calving, while a single IGF-1 SNP, IGF1i3, was significantly associated with milk production, including milk yield (means ± SEM; 751.3 ± 262.0 kg), fat yield (21.3 ± 10.2 kg) and protein yield (16.5 ± 8.0 kg) per lactation. Only one GH1 SNP, GH33, was significantly associated with milk protein yield in the second lactation (allele substitution effect of 9.8 ± 5.0 kg). Several GH1 SNPs were significantly associated with fertility, including GH32, GH35 and GH38 with calving to third parity (22.4 ± 11.3 days) (GH32 and GH38 only), pregnancy rate to first service (0.1%) and overall pregnancy rate (0.05%). The results of this study demonstrate the effects of variants of the somatotrophic axis on milk production and fertility traits in commercial dairy cattle.