Sci Rep 2017 08 23;7(1):9248. Epub 2017 Aug 23.
Faculty of Veterinary & Agricultural Science, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, 3010, Australia.
While single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with multiple phenotype have been reported, the knowledge of pleiotropy of uncorrelated phenotype is minimal. Principal components (PCs) and uncorrelated Cholesky transformed traits (CT) were constructed using 25 raw traits (RTs) of 2841 dairy bulls. Multi-trait meta-analyses of single-trait genome-wide association studies for RT, PC and CT in bulls were validated in 6821 cows. Most PCs and CTs had substantial estimates of heritability, suggesting that genes affect phenotype via diverse pathways. Phenotypic orthogonalizations did not eliminate pleiotropy: the meta-analysis achieved an agreement of significant pleiotropic SNPs (p < 1 × 10, n = 368) between RTs (416), PCs (466) and CTs (425). From this overlap we identified 21 lead SNPs with 100% validation rate containing two clusters: one consisted of DGAT1 (chr14:1.8 M+), MGST1 (chr5:93 M+), PAEP (chr11:103 M+) and GPAT4 (chr27:36 M+) affecting protein, milk and fat yield and the other included CSN2 (chr6:87 M+), MUC1 (chr3:15.6 M), GHR (chr20:31.2 M+) and SDC2 (chr14:70 M+) affecting protein and milk yield. Combining beef cattle data identified correlated SNPs representing CAPN1 (chr29:44 M+) and CAST (chr 7:96 M+) loci affecting beef tenderness, showing pleiotropic effects in dairy cattle. Our findings show that SNPs with a large effect on one trait are likely to have small effects on other uncorrelated traits.