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News Article

"Slick" Gene Helps Cattle Beat the Heat

The latest news from the ARS announced the discovery of the slick gene by scientists at the Subtropical Agricultural Research Station (STARS) in Brooksville , Florida.

"The location of the slick gene might now help breeders develop cattle with shorter, slick hair that helps keep them cool in the subtropical heat. Breeders can potentially move the gene into other economically important breeds, such as Holstein or Angus, to improve their heat tolerance. Studies at Brooksville led by animal scientist Chad Chase have shown slick-haired animals to have internal temperatures about 1 degree Fahrenheit lower during the summer than other cattle with normal hair coats. Mapping the gene=s location on the chromosome is the first step towards identifying the mutation responsible for the shorter, slick hair. A strong association between at least two closely positioned markers on chromosome 20 and the slick-haired phenotype was found. These results suggest a role for marker-assisted selection to identify bulls that will produce only slick-haired progeny."

Article details

  • Author(s)
  • Cristina Sousa Correia
  • Date
  • 15 August 2008
  • Source
  • Subject(s)
  • Animal breeding and genetics