Overlap in genomic variation associated with milk fat composition in Holstein Friesian and Dutch native dual-purpose breeds

Maurice - Van Eijndhoven, M.H.T.; Bovenhuis, H.; Veerkamp, R.F.; Calus, M.P.L.


The aim of this study was to identify if genomic variations associated with fatty acid (FA) composition are similar between the Holstein-Friesian (HF) and native dual-purpose breeds used in the Dutch dairy industry. Phenotypic and genotypic information were available for the breeds Meuse-Rhine-Yssel (MRY), Dutch Friesian (DF), Groningen White Headed (GWH), and HF. First, the reliability of genomic breeding values of the native Dutch dual-purpose cattle breeds MRY, DF, and GWH was evaluated using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) effects estimated in HF, including all SNP or subsets with stronger associations in HF. Second, the genomic variation of the regions associated with FA composition in HF (regions on Bos taurus autosome 5, 14, and 26), were studied in the different breeds. Finally, similarities in genotype and allele frequencies between MRY, DF, GWH, and HF breeds were assessed for specific regions associated with FA composition. On average across the traits, the highest reliabilities of genomic prediction were estimated for GWH (0.158) and DF (0.116) when the 8 to 22 SNP with the strongest association in HF were included. With the same set of SNP, GEBV for MRY were the least reliable (0.022). This indicates that on average only 2 (MRY) to 16% (GWH) of the genomic variation in HF is shared with the native Dutch dual-purpose breeds. The comparison of predicted variances of different regions associated with milk and milk fat composition showed that breeds clearly differed in genomic variation within these regions. Finally, the correlations of allele frequencies between breeds across the 8 to 22 SNP with the strongest association in HF were around 0.8 between the Dutch native dual-purpose breeds, whereas the correlations between the native breeds and HF were clearly lower and around 0.5. There was no consistent relationship between the reliabilities of genomic prediction for a specific breed and the correlation between the allele frequencies of this breed and HF. In conclusion, most of the genomic variation associated with FA composition in the Dutch dual-purpose breeds appears to be breed-specific. Furthermore, the minor allele frequencies of genes having an effect on the milk FA composition in HF were shown to be much smaller in the breeds MRY, DF, and GWH, especially for the MRY breed.