Genomic diversity and relationship analyses of endangered German Black Pied cattle (DSN) to 68 other taurine breeds based on whole-genome sequencing

Guilherme B. Neumann, Paula Korkuć, Danny Arends, Manuel J. Wolf, Katharina May, Sven König, Gudrun A. Brockmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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German Black Pied cattle (Deutsches Schwarzbuntes Niederungsrind, DSN) are an endangered dual-purpose cattle breed originating from the North Sea region. The population comprises about 2,500 cattle and is considered one of the ancestral populations of the modern Holstein breed. The current study aimed at defining the breeds closest related to DSN cattle, characterizing their genomic diversity and inbreeding. In addition, the detection of selection signatures between DSN and Holstein was a goal. Relationship analyses using fixation index (FST), phylogenetic, and admixture analyses were performed between DSN and 68 other breeds from the 1000 Bull Genomes Project. Nucleotide diversity, observed heterozygosity, and expected heterozygosity were calculated as metrics for genomic diversity. Inbreeding was measured as excess of homozygosity (FHom) and genomic inbreeding (FRoH) through runs of homozygosity (RoHs). Region-wide FST and cross-population-extended haplotype homozygosity (XP-EHH) between DSN and Holstein were used to detect selection signatures between the two breeds, and RoH islands were used to detect selection signatures within DSN and Holstein. DSN showed a close genetic relationship with breeds from the Netherlands, Belgium, Northern Germany, and Scandinavia, such as Dutch Friesian Red, Dutch Improved Red, Belgian Red White Campine, Red White Dual Purpose, Modern Angler, Modern Danish Red, and Holstein. The nucleotide diversity in DSN (0.151%) was higher than in Holstein (0.147%) and other breeds, e.g., Norwegian Red (0.149%), Red White Dual Purpose (0.149%), Swedish Red (0.149%), Hereford (0.145%), Angus (0.143%), and Jersey (0.136%). The FHom and FRoH values in DSN were among the lowest. Regions with high FST between DSN and Holstein, significant XP-EHH regions, and RoH islands detected in both breeds harbor candidate genes that were previously reported for milk, meat, fertility, production, and health traits, including one QTL detected in DSN for endoparasite infection resistance. The selection signatures between DSN and Holstein provide evidence of regions responsible for the dual-purpose properties of DSN and the milk type of Holstein. Despite the small population size, DSN has a high level of diversity and low inbreeding. FST supports its relatedness to breeds from the same geographic origin and provides information on potential gene pools that could be used to maintain diversity in DSN.
Original languageEnglish
Article number993959
Number of pages21
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2023


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