Short communication: Validation of 4 candidate causative trait variants in 2 cattle breeds using targeted sequence imputation

Hubert Pausch, Christine Wurmser, Friedrich Reinhardt, Reiner Emmerling, Ruedi Fries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Most association studies for pinpointing trait-associated variants are performed within breed. The availability of sequence data from key ancestors of several cattle breeds now enables immediate assessment of the frequency of trait-associated variants in populations different from the mapping population and their imputation into large validation populations. The objective of this study was to validate the effects of 4 putatively causative variants on milk production traits, male fertility, and stature in German Fleckvieh and Holstein-Friesian animals using targeted sequence imputation. We used whole-genome sequence data of 456 animals to impute 4 missense mutations in DGAT1, GHR, PRLR, and PROP1 into 10,363 Fleckvieh and 8,812 Holstein animals. The accuracy of the imputed genotypes exceeded 95% for all variants. Association testing with imputed variants revealed consistent antagonistic effects of the DGAT1 p.A232K and GHR p.F279Y variants on milk yield and protein and fat contents, respectively, in both breeds. The allele frequency of both polymorphisms has changed considerably in the past 20 yr, indicating that they were targets of recent selection for milk production traits. The PRLR p.S18N variant was associated with yield traits in Fleckvieh but not in Holstein, suggesting that it may be in linkage disequilibrium with a mutation affecting yield traits rather than being causal. The reported effects of the PROP1 p.H173R variant on milk production, male fertility, and stature could not be confirmed. Our results demonstrate that population-wide imputation of candidate causal variants from sequence data is feasible, enabling their rapid validation in large independent populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4162-4167
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Causal variant
  • QTN
  • Sequence imputation
  • Validation


Dive into the research topics of 'Short communication: Validation of 4 candidate causative trait variants in 2 cattle breeds using targeted sequence imputation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this