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Pleiotropic Quantitative Trait Loci Linked to Growth Features in Red Angus Cattle

A Texas A&M University-led team presents findings from a growth-focused genome-wide association study involving more than 15,800 Red Angus cattle tested at sites across the US. As they report in BMC Genomics, the researchers relied on directly genotyped and imputed SNPs to identify a dozen pleiotropic quantitative trait loci and other variants linked to Red Angus growth features — such as their weights at birth, at the time of weaning, and at a year of age — while flagging possible gene-environment interactions. "The results of this study are expected to aid existing beef breeding programs and production systems by identifying QTL that may be included in future genotyping assays and genomic selection programs," the authors note.