Crossbred Bos indicus steer temperament as yearlings and whole genome association of steer temperament as yearlings and calf temperament post-weaning
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cattle often have the reputation for a poor or dangerous temperament. Identification of genomic regions that associate with temperament of such cattle may be useful for genetic improvement strategies. The objectives of this study were to evaluate subjective temperament scores (1 to 9; higher scores indicated more unfavorable temperament) for aggressiveness, nervousness, flightiness, gregariousness, and overall temperament of one-half steers in feedlot conditions at 1 yr of age and compare those scores of those steers when evaluated approximately 1 mo postweaning, and conduct whole genome association analyses using SNP markers and the temperament traits of those steers at 1 yr of age and for temperament traits of all calves at weaning. Contemporary groups ( < 0.001) were steers born in the same year and season, and fed in the same feedlot pen. Aggressiveness of steers at 1 yr of age was not associated with aggressiveness at weaning (linear regression coefficient did not differ from 0; = 0.96), but regressions of all other yearling scores of steers on the scores at weaning were positive (coefficients ranged from 0.26 ± 0.04 to 0.32 ± 0.04; < 0.001). Estimates of Pearson correlation coefficients (using unadjusted values and residual values) of the different traits measured at 1 yr of age were large ( > 0.63; < 0.008) except for aggressiveness with nervousness, flightiness, or gregariousness, which did not differ from 0 ( > 0.1). Five SNP on BTA 1, 24, and 29 had suggestive associations (0.17 < [adjusted for FDR] < 0.24) with aggressiveness, nervousness, or flightiness at evaluation postweaning and 13 SNP on 11 chromosomes had suggestive associations (0.07 < [adjusted for FDR] < 0.24) with aggressiveness, nervousness, flightiness, or overall temperament score of steers at 1 yr of age. Genes close to these loci with roles in neural systems of various organisms included synaptotagmin 4 (BTA 24), FAT atypical cadhedrin 3 (BTA 29), tubulin tyrosine ligase-like 1 (BTA 5), spermatogenesis associated 17 (BTA 16), stanniocalcin 2 (BTA 20), and GABA receptor γ 3 (BTA 21).
author list (cited authors)
Riley, D. G., Gill, C. A., Boldt, C. R., Funkhouser, R. R., Herring, A. D., Riggs, P. K., ... Sanders, J. O.