A critical analysis of production-associated DNA polymorphisms in the genes of cattle, goat, sheep, and pig

Mamm Genome. 2008 Sep;19(9):591-617. doi: 10.1007/s00335-008-9141-x. Epub 2008 Oct 4.


Increasing productivity is one of the main objectives in animal production. Traditional breeding methods have led to increased gains in some traits but gains are not easily attainable in traits with low heritabilities. Exploiting the genetic variations underlying desired phenotypes is the goal of today's animal producers. Such positive genetic variants must, however, be known before possible application. Consequently, candidate genes of traits of interest have been searched for possible relationships with such traits or to explain reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) for such traits. DNA variants or polymorphisms have been identified in many such genes and their relationships with production traits determined. However, only a few genes have been evaluated, given the wealth of information on reported QTL for production traits, and in most cases genes are only partially investigated. This review presents available information on DNA variants for production traits and discusses steps that are required for effective utilization of this information for successful marker-assisted selection programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breeding
  • Cattle
  • DNA / genetics*
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers
  • Goats / genetics*
  • Male
  • Milk Proteins / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Sheep / genetics*
  • Sus scrofa / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics


  • Genetic Markers
  • Milk Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA