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Journal of Applied Genetics 49(3), 2008, pp. 251-255

Association analysis of thyroglobulin gene variants with carcass and meat quality traits in beef cattle

Qian-Fu Gan, Lu-Pei Zhang, Jun-Ya Li, Guan-Yu Hou, Heng-De Li, Xue Gao, Hong-Yan Ren, Jin-Bao Chen, Shang-Zhong Xu

Abstract: Thyroid hormones play an important role in regulating the metabolism and can affect the homeostasis of fat deposition. The gene encoding thyroglobulin (TG), producing the precursor for thyroid hormones, has been proposed as a positional and functional candidate gene for a QTL with an effect on fat deposition. In the present study, we identified 6 novel SNPs at the 3' flanking region of the TG gene. The SNP marker association analysis indicated that the SNP markers G133C, G156A, C220T and A506C were significantly associated with marbling score (P<0.05, N=271). Animals with the new homozygote genotype had higher marbling scores than those with the other genotypes. Besides, the linkage disequilibrium analysis indicated that these 4 SNPs were completely linked (r2 = 1). Results of this study suggest that the TG-gene-specific SNP may be a useful marker for meat quality traits in future marker-assisted selection programmes in beef cattle.

Key words: association analysis, beef cattle, SNP polymorphism, thyroglobulin gene.

Correspondence: Shang-Zhong Xu, Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Bovine Breeding, Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, P.R. China; e-mail: or

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