DOI: 10.3390/genes14081629 ISSN:

Advanced Skeletal Ossification Is Associated with Genetic Variants in Chronologically Young Beef Heifers

Katie A. Shira, Brenda M. Murdoch, Kimberly M. Davenport, Gabrielle M. Becker, Shangqian Xie, Antonetta M. Colacchio, Phillip D. Bass, Michael J. Colle, Gordon K. Murdoch
  • Genetics (clinical)
  • Genetics

Osteogenesis is a developmental process critical for structural support and the establishment of a dynamic reservoir for calcium and phosphorus. Changes in livestock breeding over the past 100 years have resulted in earlier bone development and increased physical size of cattle. Advanced skeletal maturity is now commonly observed at harvest, with heifers displaying more mature bone than is expected at 30 months of age (MOA). We surmise that selection for growth traits and earlier reproductive maturity resulted in co-selection for accelerated skeletal ossification. This study examines the relationship of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 793 beef heifers under 30 MOA with USDA-graded skeletal maturity phenotypes (A-, B-, C- skeletal maturity). Further, the estrogen content of FDA-approved hormonal implants provided to heifers prior to harvest was evaluated in association with the identified SNPs and maturities. Association tests were performed, and the impact of the implants were evaluated as covariates against genotypes using a logistic regression model. SNPs from the ESR1, ALPL, PPARGC1B, SORCS1 genes, and SNPs near KLF14, ANKRD61, USP42, H1C1, OVCA2, microRNA mir-29a were determined to be associated with the advanced skeletal ossification phenotype in heifers. Higher dosage estrogen implants increased skeletal maturity in heifers with certain SNP genotypes.

More from our Archive