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Genetics Selection Evolution

Open Access

Detection of genes influencing economic traits in three French dairy cattle breeds

  • Didier Boichard1Email author,
  • Cécile Grohs2,
  • Florence Bourgeois3,
  • Frédérique Cerqueira3,
  • Rémi Faugeras3,
  • André Neau4,
  • Rachel Rupp1,
  • Yves Amigues3,
  • Marie Yvonne Boscher3 and
  • Hubert Levéziel2
Genetics Selection Evolution200335:77

Received: 25 February 2002

Accepted: 20 September 2002

Published: 15 January 2003


A project of QTL detection was carried out in the French Holstein, Normande, and Montbéliarde dairy cattle breeds. This granddaughter design included 1 548 artificial insemination bulls distributed in 14 sire families and evaluated after a progeny-test for 24 traits (production, milk composition, persistency, type, fertility, mastitis resistance, and milking ease). These bulls were also genotyped for 169 genetic markers, mostly microsatellites. The QTL were analysed by within-sire linear regression of daughter yield deviations or deregressed proofs on the probability that the son receives one or the other paternal QTL allele, given the marker information. QTL were detected for all traits, including those with a low heritability. One hundred and twenty QTL with a chromosome-wise significance lower than 3% were tabulated. This threshold corresponded to a 15% false discovery rate. Amongst them, 32 were genome-wise significant. Estimates of their contribution to genetic variance ranged from 6 to 40%. Most substitution effects ranged from 0.6 to 1.0 genetic standard deviation. For a given QTL, only 1 to 5 families out of 14 were informative. The confidence intervals of the QTL locations were large and always greater than 20 cM. This experiment confirmed several already published QTL but most of them were original, particularly for non-production traits.


dairy cattleQTL detectiongenetic markergranddaughter design

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Authors’ Affiliations

Station de génétique quantitative et appliquée, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, France
Laboratoire de génétique biochimique et de cytogénétique, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, France
GIE Labogena, Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, France
Département de génétique animale, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, France


© INRA, EDP Sciences 2003