Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 541546
Title A genome-wide association study for natural antibodies measured in blood of Canadian Holstein cows
Author(s) Klerk, Britt de; Emam, Mehdi; Thompson-Crispi, Kathleen A.; Sargolzaei, Mehdi; Poel, Johan J. van der; Mallard, Bonnie A.
Source BMC Genomics 19 (2018)1. - ISSN 1471-2164
Department(s) Animal Breeding and Genetics
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Dairy cattle - Genome-wide-association study - Immune system - Immunoglobulin class switching - Natural antibody - Vesicle trafficking

Background: Natural antibodies (NAb) are an important component of the innate immune system, and fight infections as a part of the first line defence. NAb are poly-reactive and can respond non-specifically to antigens. Therefore, NAb may be a key trait when evaluating an animal’s potential natural disease resistance. Variation in NAb is caused by both genetic and environmental factors. In this study genetic parameters of NAb were estimated and a genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed to gain further understanding on the genes that are responsible for the observed genetic variation of NAb in Canadian Holsteins. Results: In total, blood samples of 1327 cows from 64 farms were studied. NAb binding to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) were determined via indirect ELISA. Immunoglobulin (Ig) isotypes, IgG and IgM, were evaluated. From the sample population, 925 cows were genotyped for 45,187 markers and each individual marker was tested to detect genetic variation in NAb levels. The relationships among animals was accounted for with genomic relationship. Results show heritabilities of 0.27 ± 0.064 (IgG) and 0.31 ± 0.065 (IgM). In total, 23 SNPs were found to be associated with IgG, but no SNPs were associated with IgM (FDR p-value < 0.05). The significant SNPs were located on autosomal chromosomes 1, 20 and 21 of the cow genome. Functional annotation analysis of the positional candidate genes revealed two sets of genes with biologically relevant functions related to NAb. In one set, seven genes with crucial roles in the production of antibody in B cells were associated with the trafficking of vesicles inside the cells between organelles. In the second set, two genes among positional candidate genes were associated with isotype class-switching and somatic hypermutation of B cells. Conclusions: This study demonstrated the possibility of increasing NAb through selective breeding. In addition, the effects of two candidate pathways are proposed for further investigation of NAb production in Holsteins.

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