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Association of leptin genotypes with beef cattle characteristics


Address for correspondence

P. J. Kononoff, C220j Animal Science Building, Lincoln, NE 68583-0908, USA.



A single nucleotide polymorphism (C/T) in bovine leptin, resulting in an arginine to cysteine amino acid substitution (p.Arg25Cys), has previously been shown to have an impact on carcass characteristics. Given the significant energetic relationship between fat and animal efficiency, further evaluation of this SNP across larger animal populations is warranted. Of the total number of 136 286 genotyped cattle in this study, 92 112 and 53 189 were analysed for backfat and body weight measurements, respectively. Results showed a significant positive relationship (P < 0.0001) between the T allele frequency and animal backfat, with TT, CT and CC animals having estimates of 6.79 ± 0.02, 6.49 ± 0.01 and 6.28 ± 0.01 mm, respectively. Calculations using rate of backfat accretion showed that animals with CC genotypes would require more days to reach 12 mm of backfat (45 days) than animals with CT (42 days) and TT (38 days) genotypes. Animal weight was also shown to be positively associated (< 0.0001) with genotype, as animals of the TT, CT and CC genotypes weighed 484.2 ± 0.7, 488.0 ± 0.5 and 487.3 ± 0.6 kg, respectively, further underscoring the effects of this SNP on key market cattle characteristics.