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Identification of homozygous haplotypes carrying putative recessive lethal mutations that compromise fertility traits in French Lacaune dairy sheep

Abstract : Background: Homozygous recessive deleterious mutations can cause embryo/fetal or neonatal lethality, or genetic defects that affect female fertility and animal welfare. In livestock populations under selection, the frequency of such lethal mutations may increase due to inbreeding, genetic drift, and/or the positive pleiotropic effects of heterozygous carriers on selected traits. Results: By scanning the genome of 19,102 Lacaune sheep using 50 k single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) phased genotypes and pedigree data, we identified 11 Lacaune deficient homozygous haplotypes (LDHH1 to LDHH11) showing a highly significant deficit of homozygous animals ranging from 79 to 100%. These haplotypes located on chromosomes 3, 4, 13, 17 and 18, spanned regions from 1.2 to 3.0 Mb long with a frequency of heterozygous carriers between 3.7 and 12.1%. When we compared at-risk matings (between carrier rams and daughters of carrier rams) and safe matings, seven of the 11 haplotypes were associated with a significant alteration of two fertility traits, a reduced success of artificial insemination (LDHH1, 2, 8 and 9), and/or an increased stillbirth rate (LDHH3, 6, 8, 9, and 10). The 11 haplotypes were also tested for a putative selective advantage of heterozygous carrier rams based on their daughter yield deviation for six dairy traits (milk, fat and protein yields, fat and protein contents and lactation somatic cell score). LDHH1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 11 were associated with positive effects on at least one selected dairy trait, in particular milk yield. For each haplotype, the most probable candidate genes were identified based on their roles in lethality of mouse knockout models and in mammalian genetic disorders. Conclusions: Based on a reverse genetic strategy, we identified at least 11 haplotypes with homozygous deficiency segregating in French Lacaune dairy sheep. This strategy represents a first tool to limit at-risk matings in the Lacaune dairy selection scheme. We assume that most of the identified LDHH are in strong linkage disequilibrium with a recessive lethal mutation that affects embryonic or juvenile survival in sheep but is yet to be identified.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 30, 2021 - 4:29:52 PM
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Maxime Ben Braiek, Stéphane Fabre, Chris Hozé, Jean-Michel Astruc, Carole Moreno-Romieu. Identification of homozygous haplotypes carrying putative recessive lethal mutations that compromise fertility traits in French Lacaune dairy sheep. Genetics Selection Evolution, BioMed Central, 2021, 53 (1), pp.1-13. ⟨10.1186/s12711-021-00634-1⟩. ⟨hal-03360226⟩

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