Genome-wide association study identified genomic regions and putative candidate genes affecting meat color traits in Nellore cattle
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Single and multiple-trait GWAS were conducted to detect genomic regions and candidate genes associated with meat color traits (L*, lightness; a*, redness; b*, yellowness) in Nellore cattle. Phenotypic records of 5000 animals, and 3794 genotypes for 614,274 SNPs were used. The BLUPF90 family programs were used through single step GWAS approach. The top 10 genomic regions from single-trait GWAS explained 13.64%, 15.12% and 13% of genetic variance of L*, a* and b*, which harbored 129, 70, and 84 candidate genes, respectively. Regarding multiple-trait GWAS, the top 10 SNP windows explained 17.46%, 18.98% and 13.74% of genetic variance of L*, a* and b*, and harbored 124, 86, and 82 candidate genes, respectively. Pleiotropic effects were evidenced by the overlapping regions detected on BTA 15 and 26 associated with L* and a* (genetic correlation of −0.53), and on BTA 18 associated with a* and b* (genetic correlation of 0.60). Similar genomic regions located on BTA 2, 5, 6, and 18 were detected through single and multi-trait GWAS. Overlapped regions harbored a total of 30 functional candidate genes involved in mitochondrial activity, structural integrity of muscles, lipid oxidation, anaerobic metabolism, and muscular pH.
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