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Novel single nucleotide polymorphisms of the bovine methyltransferase 3b gene and their association with meat quality traits in beef cattle

Author(s): X. Liu, X.Y. Guo, X.Z. Xu, M. Wu, X. Zhang, Q. Li, P.P. Ma, Y. Zhang, C.Y. Wang, F.J. Geng, C.H. Qin, L. Liu, W.H. Shi, Y.C. Wang and Y. Yu

DNA methylation is essential for adipose deposition in mammals. We screened SNPs of the bovine DNA methyltransferase 3b (DNMT3b) gene in Snow Dragon beef, a commercial beef cattle population in China. Nine SNPs were found in the population and three of six novel SNPs were chosen for genotyping and analyzing a possible association with 16 meat quality traits. The frequencies of the alleles and genotypes of the three SNPs in Snow Dragon beef were similar to those in their terminal-paternal breed, Wagyu. Association analysis disclosed that SNP1 was not associated with any of the traits; SNP2 was significantly associated with lean meat color score and chuck short rib score, and SNP3had a significant effect on dressing percentage and back-fat thickness in the beef population. The individuals with genotype GG for SNP2 had a 25.7% increase in lean meat color score and a 146% increase in chuck short rib score, compared with genotype AA. The cattle with genotype AG for SNP3 had 35.7 and 24% increases in dressing percentage and 28.8 and 29.2% increases in back-fat thickness, compared with genotypes GG and AA, respectively. Genotypic combination analysis revealed significant interactions between SNP1 and SNP2 and between SNP2 and SNP3 for the traits rib-eye area and live weight. We conclude that there is considerable evidence that DNMT3b is a determiner of beef quality traits.