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Journal of Applied Genetics 51(3), 2010, pp. 289-297

Mutations in the bovine ABCG2 and the ovine MSTN gene added to the few quantitative trait nucleotides identified in farm animals: a mini-review

M. H. Braunschweig

Abstract: The progress in molecular genetics in animal breeding is moderately effective as compared to traditional animal breeding using quantitative genetic approaches. There is an extensive disparity between the number of reported quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and their linked genetic variations in cattle, pig, and chicken. The identification of causative mutations affecting quantitative traits is still very challenging and hampered by the cloudy relationship between genotype and phenotype. There are relatively few reports in which a successful identification of a causative mutation for an animal production trait was demonstrated. The examples that have attracted considerable attention from the animal breeding community are briefly summarized and presented in a table. In this mini-review, the recent progress in mapping quantitative trait nucleotides (QTNs) are reviewed, including the ABCG2 gene mutation that underlies a QTL for fat and protein content and the ovine MSTN gene mutation that causes muscular hypertrophy in Texel sheep. It is concluded that the progress in molecular genetics might facilitate the elucidation of the genetic architecture of QTLs, so that also the high-hanging fruits can be harvested in order to contribute to efficient and sustainable animal production

Key words: animal genomics, complex traits, quantitative trait nucleotide

Correspondence: M.H. Braunschweig, Institute of Genetics, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Berne, CH-3001 Berne, Switzerland; e-mail:

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