Haplotype-resolved genomes provide insights into structural variation and gene content in Angus and Brahman cattle
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Chromosome-level genome maps for the two main subspecies of cattle have revealed several genetic variants that differentiate the two breeds.
A University of Adelaide–led team sequenced the DNA of a calf born to a Brahman dam and an Angus bull. This allowed the researchers to create high-quality, chromosome-detailed assemblies of the genomes for each parental breed.
Not only did the method prove more accurate than other genome-mapping techniques, but it also enabled the researchers to directly compare structural and copy number variants found in each subspecies.
In this way, they showed that the Brahman cattle, bred for pest and drought environments, had additional copies of six genes with immune-related functions, as well as an extra copy of a gene involved in fat metabolism under environmental stress, compared to Angus cattle, which were bred for beef production.
- Nature Communications 11, 2071 (2020). doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15848-y