A 44-kb deleted-type copy number variation is associated with decreasing complement component activity and calf mortality in Japanese Black cattle

Shinji Sasaki, Youko Miki, Takayuki Ibi, Hiroyuki Wakaguri, Yuichi Yoshida, Yoshikazu Sugimoto, Yutaka Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Calf mortality generally occurs in calves prior to weaning, which is a serious problem in cattle breeding. Several causative variants of monogenic Mendelian disorders in calf mortality have been identified, whereas genetic factors affecting the susceptibility of calves to death are not well known. To identify variants associated with calf mortality in Japanese Black cattle, we evaluated calf mortality as a categorical trait with a threshold model and performed a genome-wide copy number variation (CNV) association study on calf mortality. Results: We identified a 44-kb deleted-type CNV ranging from 103,317,687 to 103,361,802 bp on chromosome 5, which was associated with the mortality of 1–180-day-old calves. The CNV harbored C1RL, a pseudogene, and an IncRNA localized in the C1R and C1S gene cluster, which is a component of the classical complement activation pathway for immune complexes for infectious pathogens. The average complement activity in CNVR_221 homozygotes at postnatal day 7 was significantly lower than that of wild-type animals and heterozygotes. The frequency of the risk allele in dead calves suffering from diarrhea and pneumonia and in healthy cows was 0.35 and 0.28, respectively (odds ratio = 2.2, P = 0.016), suggesting that CNVR_221 was associated with the mortality of Japanese Black calves suffering from an infectious disease. Conclusions: This study identified a deleted-type CNV associated with the mortality of 1–180-day-old calves. The complement activity in CNVR_221 homozygotes was significantly lower than that in heterozygotes and wild type animals. The frequency of the risk allele was higher in dead calves suffering from an infectious disease than in healthy cows. These results suggest that the existence of CNVR_221 in calves could be attributed to a reduction in complement activity, which in turn leads to susceptibility to infections. Thus, the risk allele could serve as a useful marker to reduce the mortality of infected Japanese Black calves.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107
JournalBMC Genomics
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Beef cattle
  • Complement
  • Copy number variation
  • Postnatal mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics

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