Analysis of relationship between bovine lymphocyte antigen DRB3.2 alleles, somatic cell count and milk traits in Iranian holstein p

M. Pashmi, S. Qanbari, S. A. Ghorashi, A. R. Sharifi, H. Simianer

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20 Citations (Scopus)


The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a gene complex closely linked to the vertebrate immune system due to its importance in antigen recognition and immune response to pathogens. To improve our understanding of the MHC and disease resistance in dairy cattle, we gathered 5119 test day records of somatic cell count (SCC) and performance traits of 262 Holstein dairy cows to determine whether the DRB region of the MHC contains alleles that are associated with elevated SCC, milk yield, protein and fat percent of milk. To this purpose, genotyping of animals for DRB3 gene was investigated by polymerase chain reaction-based restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) assay. A two-step PCR was carried out so as to amplify a 284 base-pair fragment of exon 2 of the target gene. Second PCR products were treated with three restriction endonuclease enzymes RsaI, BstYI and HaeIII. Twenty-eight BoLA-DRB3 alleles were identified including one novel allele (*40). The results in general are in good accordance with allele frequencies of Holstein cattle populations reported by previous studies. Analyses of associations were modeled based on repeated measurement anova and generalized logistic linear methods for production traits and SCC data, respectively. The results of this study showed a significant relationship between the elevated SCC reflecting an increased probability of occurrence to subclinical mastitis and DRB3.2 allele *8 (p < 0.03). The results also revealed significant positive relationships of alleles*22 (p < 0.01) and allele*11 (p < 0.05) with milk fat percent as well as of alleles*24 (p < 0.03) and *22 (p < 0.05) with protein percent. The present study failed to find any association between milk yield and tested alleles. Because of the lack of consistency among results of similar studies, we suggest further investigations to determine the precise nature of these associations with the high polymorphic bovine MHC region to be performed based on haplotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-303
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2009


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