Login | Request Account (DAF staff only)

Optimized Genetic Testing for Polledness in Multiple Breeds of Cattle

View Altmetrics

Randhawa, I. A. S., Burns, B. M., McGowan, M. R., Porto-Neto, L. R., Hayes, B. J., Ferretti, R., Schutt, K. M. and Lyons, R. E. (2020) Optimized Genetic Testing for Polledness in Multiple Breeds of Cattle. G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics, 10 (2). pp. 539-544. ISSN 2160-1836


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1534/g3.119.400866

Publisher URL: https://academic.oup.com/g3journal/article/10/2/539/6026242


Many breeds of modern cattle are naturally horned, and for sound husbandry management reasons the calves frequently undergo procedures to physically remove the horns by disbudding or dehorning. These procedures are however a welfare concern. Selective breeding for polledness – absence of horns – has been effective in some cattle breeds but not in others (Bos indicus genotypes) due in part to the complex genetics of horn phenotype. To address this problem different approaches to genetic testing which provide accurate early-in-life prediction of horn phenotype have been evaluated, initially using microsatellites (MSAT) and more recently single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). A direct gene test is not effective given the genetic heterogeneity and large-sized sequence variants associated with polledness in different breeds. The current study investigated 39,943 animals of multiple breeds to assess the accuracy of available poll testing assays. While the standard SNP-based test was an improvement on the earlier MSAT haplotyping method, 1999 (9.69%) out of 20,636 animals tested with this SNP-based assay did not predict a genotype, most commonly associated with the Indicus-influenced breeds. The current study has developed an optimized poll gene test that resolved the vast majority of these 1999 unresolved animals, while the predicted genotypes of those previously resolved remained unchanged. Hence the optimized poll test successfully predicted a genotype in 99.96% of samples assessed. We demonstrated that a robust set of 5 SNPs can effectively determine PC and PF alleles and eliminate the ambiguous and undetermined results of poll gene testing previously identified as an issue in cattle.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:Poll gene, bovine, dehorning, genetic testing, animal welfare, Genomic Prediction, GenPred, Shared Data Resources
Subjects:Science > Biology > Genetics
Science > Biology > Reproduction
Animal culture > Breeding and breeds
Animal culture > Cattle
Live Archive:28 Sep 2023 23:22
Last Modified:28 Sep 2023 23:22

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics