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Quantitative trait loci for fertility traits in Finnish Ayrshire cattle


A whole genome scan was carried out to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL) for fertility traits in Finnish Ayrshire cattle. The mapping population consisted of 12 bulls and 493 sons. Estimated breeding values for days open, fertility treatments, maternal calf mortality and paternal non-return rate were used as phenotypic data. In a granddaughter design, 171 markers were typed on all 29 bovine autosomes. Associations between markers and traits were analysed by multiple marker regression. Multi-trait analyses were carried out with a variance component based approach for the chromosomes and trait combinations, which were observed significant in the regression method. Twenty-two chromosome-wise significant QTL were detected. Several of the detected QTL areas were overlapping with milk production QTL previously identified in the same population. Multi-trait QTL analyses were carried out to test if these effects were due to a pleiotropic QTL affecting fertility and milk yield traits or to linked QTL causing the effects. This distinction could only be made with confidence on BTA1 where a QTL affecting milk yield is linked to a pleiotropic QTL affecting days open and fertility treatments.

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Correspondence to Nina F. Schulman.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Schulman, N.F., Sahana, G., Lund, M.S. et al. Quantitative trait loci for fertility traits in Finnish Ayrshire cattle. Genet Sel Evol 40, 195 (2008).

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  • QTL
  • fertility
  • dairy cow