There is little knowledge about the degree of linkage disequilibrium (LD) in beef cattle. This study aims to perform a genome-wide search for LD in Japanese Black and Japanese Brown beef cattle and to compare the level of LD between these two breeds. Parameter D′ (the LD coefficient) was used as a measure of LD, and LD was tested for significance of allelic associations between syntenic and between non-syntenic marker pairs. Effects of breed, chromosome, genetic map distance and their interactions with D′ were tested based on least squares analyses. Both breeds showed high levels of LD, which ranged over several tens of cM and declined as the marker distance increased for syntenic marker pairs. A rapid decline of the D′ value was observed between markers that were spaced 5 and 20 cM apart. LD was significant in most cases for marker pairs <40 cM apart but was not significant between non-syntenic loci. The pattern of LD found in these two breeds was similar to that previously published for dairy cattle. The D′ value between breeds was not significantly different (P > 0.05), but the interaction between breed and chromosome was highly significant (P < 0.001). Genetic selection seems to have caused the heterogeneity of the D′ values among chromosomes within breed. These results indicate that LD mapping is a useful tool for fine-mapping quantitative trait loci of economically important traits in Japanese beef cattle.
- Beef cattle
- Linkage disequilibrium