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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.

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.