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Single nucleotide polymorphisms concordant with the horned/polled trait in Holsteins

DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-1-128

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Approximately 160 kb were sequenced within the known polled region from 12 polled and 12 horned Holsteins. Analysis of the polymorphisms identified 13 novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are concordant with the horned/polled trait. Three of the 13 SNPs are located in gene coding or regulatory regions (e.g., the untranslated region, or UTR) where one is located in the 3'UTR of a gene and the other two are located in the 5'UTR and coding region (synonymous SNP) of another gene. The 3'UTR of genes have been shown to be targets of microRNAs regulating gene expression. In silico analysis indicates the 3'UTR SNP may disrupt a microRNA target site.These 13 novel SNPs concordant with the horned/polled trait in Holsteins represent a test panel for the breed and this is the first report to the authors' knowledge of SNPs within gene coding or regulatory regions concordant with the horned/polled trait in cattle. These SNPs will require further testing for verification and further study to determine if the 3'UTR SNP may have a functional effect on the polled trait in Holsteins.Cattle that naturally do not grow horns are termed polled, a trait inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion [1,2]. De-horning is a common practice in the cattle industry as the presence of horns can lead to injuries such as bruised carcasses and hence, economic loss. Polled cattle are desirable; however, the frequency of the trait is minimal due to the management practice of de-horning calves, which prohibits the later selection and breeding of naturally polled individuals. While de-horning is a management solution, the issue ranks as a high concern with producers and packers [3,4]. In addition, the process of de-horning creates stress for the cattle [5] and may be viewed as inhumane.While a polled genetic test is commercially available from MetaMorphix Inc., Holsteins are not listed as a validated breed for the Tru-Polled? test [6]. The breeds the Tru-Polled? test is validated for are Char


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