Genome-wide assessment of diversity and differentiation between original and modern Brown cattle populations

Baldassare Portolano, Angelo Moscarelli, Salvatore Mastrangelo, Maria Teresa Sardina, Ciani, Gabriele Senczuk, Senczuck, Pilla, Martino Cassandro

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Identifying genomic regions involved in the differences between breeds can provide information on genes that are under the influence of both artificial and natural selection. The aim of this study was to assess the genetic diversity and differentiation among four different Brown cattle populations (two original vs. two modern populations) and to characterize the distribution of runs of homozygosity (ROH) islands using the Illumina Bovine SNP50 BeadChip genotyping data. After quality control, 34 735 SNPs and 106 animals were retained for the analyses. Larger heterogeneity was highlighted for the original populations. Patterns of genetic differentiation, multidimensional scaling, and the neighboring joining tree distinguished the modern from the original populations. The FST-outlier identified several genes putatively involved in the genetic differentiation between the two groups, such as stature and growth, behavior, and adaptability to local environments. The ROH islands within both the original and the modern populations overlapped with QTL associated with relevant traits. In modern Brown (Brown Swiss and Italian Brown), ROH islands harbored candidate genes associated with milk production traits, in evident agreement with the artificial selection conducted to improve this trait in these populations. In original Brown (Original Braunvieh and Braunvieh), we identified candidate genes related with fat deposition, confirming that breeding strategies for the original Brown populations aimed to produce dual-purpose animals. Our study highlighted the presence of several genomic regions that vary between Brown populations, in line with their different breeding histories.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalAnimal Genetics
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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