The aim of this study was to identify genomic regions underlying milk production traits in the Valle del Belice dairy sheep using regional heritability mapping (RHM). Repeated measurements for milk yield (MY), fat percentage and yield (F% and FY) and protein percentage and yield (P% and PY), collected over a period of 6 years (2006-2012) on 481 Valle del Belice ewes, were used for the analysis. Animals were genotyped with the Illumina 50k SNP chip. Variance components, heritabilities and repeatabilities within and across lactations were estimated, fitting parity, litter size, season of lambing and fortnights in milk, as fixed; and additive genetic, permanent environment within and across lactations, flock by test-day interaction and residual as random effects. For the RHM analysis, the model included the same fixed and random effects as before, plus an additional regional genomic additive effect (specific for the region being tested) as random. While the whole genomic additive effect was estimated using the genomic relationship matrix (GRM) constructed from all SNPs, the regional genomic additive effect was estimated from a GRM matrix constructed from the SNPs within each region. Heritability estimates ranged between 0.06 and 0.15, with repeatabilities being between 0.14 and 0.24 across lactations and between 0.23 and 0.39 within lactation for all milk production traits. A substantial effect of flock-test-day on milk production traits was also estimated. Significant genomic regions at either genome-wide (p < .05) or suggestive (i.e., one false positive per genome scan) level were identified on chromosome (OAR) 2, 3 and 20 for F% and on OAR3 for P%, with the regions on OAR3 in common between the two traits. Our results confirmed the role of LALBA and AQP genes, on OAR3, as candidate genes for milk production traits in sheep.
|Numero di pagine||10|
|Rivista||Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2021|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes