The impact of a leptin gene SNP on beef calf weaning weights

Anim Genet. 2008 Jun;39(3):284-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2008.01730.x.


Prior research indicates that a SNP at position 305 of exon 2 in the leptin gene affects milk production in dairy cows. Dairy cows with at least one copy of the T allele have been shown to have higher milk production than CC cows. If that effect carries over to beef breeds, it is reasonable to expect that CT and TT beef cows will wean heavier calves than CC beef cows. We tested this hypothesis for a herd of mixed breed cows using anova. Results indicated that both crossbred CT and TT beef cows wean significantly heavier beef calves than CC crossbred beef cows. A lack of observations generally hinders detection of significance in other breeds. However, two other comparisons were found to be significant. The results suggest further investigation into the link between leptin genotype and calf weaning weights. Aside from interest to animal scientists, these results have the potential to alter mating and replacement selection decisions by cow-calf producers, given the importance of weaning weights on profitability.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight / genetics*
  • Breeding
  • Cattle / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Leptin / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Weaning


  • Leptin