We carried out a genetic association study between five nucleotide polymorphisms (5'UTR microsatellite ((TG)n), nt-7(C>A), L24V, DelR242 and Intron 1 microsatellite) of the GHSR1a gene and growth and carcass traits in 1285 steers sired by 117 Japanese Black bulls in a progeny testing program. We report herein, a significant association between the 5'UTR microsatellite and nt-7(C>A) loci and growth and carcass traits. We also propose a translational hypothesis that the association is due to differences in the secondary structure of GHSR1b mRNA (the non-spliced type with the 5'UTR microsatellite) among the GHSR1a gene haplotypes. Furthermore, we predicted the potential increase in profitability due to increased carcass weight in cow-calf fattening enterprises through planned matings based on DNA testing of the 5'UTR microsatellite. Statistical analysis revealed that the 5'UTR microsatellite locus had a significant additive effect on carcass weight (CW) and average daily gain (ADG), but not on beef marbling score (BMS). One of the four major microsatellite alleles (19-TG allele) with an allele frequency of 0.145, had a significantly (P<0.0007) desirable effect on CW and ADG. We concluded that the 19-TG allele could potentially be economically useful nucleotide markers for growth and carcass traits in Japanese Black cattle.
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