Congenital multiple ocular defects (MOD) in Japanese black cattle is a hereditary ocular disorder with an autosomal recessive manner of inheritance, showing developmental defects of the lens, retina, and iris, persistent embryonic eye vascularization, and microphthalmia. In the present study, we mapped the locus responsible for the disorder by linkage analysis using 240 microsatellite markers covering the entire bovine genome and an inbred pedigree obtained from commercial herds. The linkage analysis demonstrated a significant linkage between the disorder locus and markers on the proximal region of bovine Chromosome (BTA) 18 with the maximum LOD score of 5.1. Homozygosity mapping using the haplotype of the linked markers further refined the critical region. The results revealed the localization of the locus responsible for MOD in an approximately 6.6-cM region of BTA18. Comparison of published linkage and radiation hybrid (RH) maps of BTA18 with its evolutionary ortholog, human Chromosome (HSA) 16, revealed several potential candidate genes for the disorder including the MAF and FOXC2 genes.
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