Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Microsatellite mapping of the bovine roan locus: a major determinant of white heifer disease.

Abstract

In the Belgian Blue cattle breed, coat colour variation is mainly under the influence of a single autosomal locus, the roan locus, characterized by pair of codominant alleles: r+ (black) and R (white). Heterozygous r+R animals have intermingled black and white hairs, yielding the "blue" phenotype typical of the breed. Interest in the roan locus stems from its pleiotropic effect on fertility, owing to the critical role of the R allele in the determination of white heifer disease. White heifer disease affects female fertility by producing anomalies in the genital tract. In this study, the roan locus was mapped to chromosome 5, in the interval between microsatellite markers BPI and AGLA293, with a lod score of 11.2. In addition, a candidate gene, the steel locus, coding for the mast cell growth factor, was mapped to chromosome 5 using somatic cell hybrids.