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Quantitative trait loci affecting milk production: mapping and utilisation for marker assisted selection in dairy and dual purpose cattle *

Contract nr: QLRT-CT-2000-02379
Project type: RS (Research and Technological Development Project)
Starting date:
Duration: 36 months
Total cost: 1,710,260 EUR
EC Contribution: 1,710,260 EUR
Scientific Officer:
Research topic: 5.1.1. Sustainable agriculture/Animal Systems

The proposal involves mapping QTL affecting milk production and associated traits by selective DNA pooling, in Simmental (dual-purpose); two Holstein and one (multicountry) Brown Swiss (dairy) cattle populations; and in a unique Simmental population produced by crossing a single F1 male (Red Holstein x Simmental) to Simmental as recurrent parent. High-resolution mapping will be carried out for some of the identified QTL, using selective recombinant genotyping within, and identical-by-descent mapping across the various populations. Allele frequency of QTL alleles, and marker haplotypes associated with positive and negative QTL alleles of active sires will be determined. Theoretical studies needed for use of QTL information for marker-assisted selection (MAS) will be carried out. The end-product will be a body of QTL map information and sire marker/QTL information, and of validated methodologies for MAS for milk production traits in dairy and dual-purpose cattle.

1. To map QTL for rnilk yield and protein % in Holstein and Brown Swiss (dairy), Simmental (dual-purpose), and Red Holstein x Simmental advanced backcross.
2. To determine associated effects of the mapped QTL on protein yield, fat yield, % fat, milk somatic cell count, days open, calving difficulties and perinatal mortality.
3. To achieve high-resolution QTL mapping by selective recombinant genotyping; and
4. by identical-by-descent mapping.
5. To develop and test methods to estimate frequency of QTL allele in the population.
6. To determine marker-QTL phase in active élite sires of the five populations.
7. To trace marker-phased QTL to progeny.
8. To develop a theoretical framework for incorporating marker-QTL map information in a realistic marker assisted selection (MAS) programme.
9. To develop a theoretical framework for evaluating the results of a MAS programme, and apply this to the five resource populations using the parameters obtained in this study.

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet München
Tel.: +49 8921803659
Fax: +49 8921802985

  Eran VARDI
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Tel.: +972 26586676
Fax: +972 25664740
  Leopold MAERZ
Institut für Nutztierwissenschaften
Tel.: +43 1476541000
Fax: +43 1476541019
  Giancarlo PRATELLA
University of Bologna, Dipartimento di protezione e valorizzazione agroalimentare, sez
Reggio Emilia
Tel.: +39 0522290522
Fax: +39 0522290523
  Alessandro BAGNATO
Università Degli Studi Di Milano, Istituto di Zootecnica
Tel.: +39 022369441
Fax: +39 0270602227