Investigation of major gene for milk yield, milking speed, dry matter intake, and body weight in dairy cattle
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The main aim of this study was to determine if there exist any major gene for milk yield (MY), milking speed (MS), dry matter intake (DMI), and body weight (BW) recorded at various stages of lactation in first-lactation dairy cows (2543 observations from 320 cows) kept at the research farm of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology between April 1994 and April 2004. Data were modelled based a simple repeatability covariance structure and analysed by using Bayesian segregation analyses. Gibbs sampling was used to make statistical inferences on posterior distributions; inferences were based on a single run of the Markov chain for each trait with 500 000 samples, with each 10th sample collected because of the high correlation among the samples. The posterior mean (?SD) of major gene variance was 2.61 (?2.46) for MY, 0.83 (?1.26) for MS, 4.37 (?2.34) for DMI, and 2056.43 (?665.67) for BW. Highest posterior density regions for 3 of the 4 traits did not include 0 (except MS), which supported the evidence for major gene. With additional tests for agreement with Mendelian transmission probabilities, we could only confirm the existence of a major gene for MY, but not for MS, DMI, and BW. Expected Mendelian transmission probabilities and their model fits were also compared.
Publication order reference
B. Karacaoren, Statistical Animal Genetics Group, Institute of Animal Sciences, ETH Z?rich, Universitatstrasse 65 CH 8092 Zurich, Switzerland