We herein report new evidence that the QTL effect on chromosome 20 in Finnish Ayrshire can be explained by variation in two distinct genes, growth hormone receptor (GHR) and prolactin receptor (PRLR). In a previous study in Holstein–Friesian dairy cattle an F279Y polymorphism in the transmembrane domain of GHR was found to be associated with an effect on milk yield and composition. The result of our multimarker regression analysis suggests that in Finnish Ayrshire two QTL segregate on the chromosomal region including GHR and PRLR. By sequencing the coding sequences of GHR and PRLR and the sequence of three GHR promoters from the pooled samples of individuals of known QTL genotype, we identified two substitutions that were associated with milk production traits: the previously reported F-to-Y substitution in the transmembrane domain of GHR and an S-to-N substitution in the signal peptide of PRLR. The results provide strong evidence that the effect of PRLR S18N polymorphism is distinct from the GHR F279Y effect. In particular, the GHR F279Y has the highest influence on protein percentage and fat percentage while PRLR S18N markedly influences protein and fat yield. Furthermore, an interaction between the two loci is suggested.
- Received June 10, 2005.
- Accepted May 29, 2006.
- Copyright © 2006 by the Genetics Society of America