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.
Keywords:dairy cattle; QTL detection; genetic marker; granddaughter design
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