Genomic Loci Affecting Milk Production in German Black Pied Cattle (DSN)

Paula Korkuć, Danny Arends, Katharina May, Sven König, Gudrun A. Brockmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


German Black Pied cattle (DSN) is an endangered population of about 2,550 dual-purpose cattle in Germany. Having a milk yield of about 2,500 kg less than the predominant dairy breed Holstein, the preservation of DSN is supported by the German government and the EU. The identification of the genomic loci affecting milk production in DSN can provide a basis for selection decisions for genetic improvement of DSN in order to increase market chances through the improvement of milk yield. A genome-wide association analysis of 30 milk traits was conducted in different lactation periods and numbers. Association using multiple linear regression models in R was performed on 1,490 DSN cattle genotyped with BovineSNP50 SNP-chip. 41 significant and 20 suggestive SNPs affecting milk production traits in DSN were identified, as well as 15 additional SNPs for protein content which are less reliable due to high inflation. The most significant effects on milk yield in DSN were detected on chromosomes 1, 6, and 20. The region on chromosome 6 was located nearby the casein gene cluster and the corresponding haplotype overlapped the CSN3 gene (casein kappa). Associations for fat and protein yield and content were also detected. High correlation between traits of the same lactation period or number led to some SNPs being significant for multiple investigated traits. Half of all identified SNPs have been reported in other studies, previously. 15 SNPs were associated with the same traits in other breeds. The other associated SNPs have been reported previously for traits such as exterior, health, meat and carcass, production, and reproduction traits. No association could be detected between DGAT1 and other known milk genes with milk production traits despite the close relationship between DSN and Holstein. The results of this study confirmed that many SNPs identified in other breeds as associated with milk traits also affect milk traits in dual-purpose DSN cattle and can be used for further genetic analysis to identify genes and causal variants that affect milk production in DSN cattle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number640039
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


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