Polymorphisms in the STAT6 gene and their association with carcass traits in feedlot cattle

Anim Genet. 2009 Dec;40(6):878-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2009.01934.x. Epub 2009 Jun 5.


Identification of the genes and polymorphisms underlying quantitative traits, and understanding how these genes and polymorphisms affect economic traits, are important for successful marker-assisted selection and more efficient management strategies in commercial cattle populations. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6) gene is tightly connected to IL-4 and IL-13 signalling and plays a key role in T(H)2 polarization of the immune system. In addition, STAT6 acts as a mediator of leptin signalling and has been associated with body weight regulation. The objective of this study was to determine if SNPs within the bovine STAT6 gene are associated with economically important traits in feedlot cattle. The approach consisted of resequencing STAT6 using a panel of DNA from unrelated animals of different beef breeds. Specifically, 16 kb of STAT6 was resequenced in 47 animals and the process revealed 39 SNPs. From the 39 SNPs, a panel of 15 tag SNPs was genotyped in 1500 beef cattle samples with phenotypes to perform a marker-trait association analysis. Among the 15 tag SNPs, five and six were polymorphic in Bos taurus and Bos indicus respectively. An association analysis was performed between the 15 tag SNPs and 14 performance and production traits. SNP ss115492459:C > A, ss115492461:A > G and ss115492458:G > C were significantly associated with back fat, calculated yield grade, cutability, hot carcass weight, dry matter intake, days on feed, back fat rate and average daily gain. These three SNPs were present in all Bos taurus beef breeds examined. Our results provide evidence that polymorphisms in STAT6 are associated with carcass and growth efficiency traits, and may be used for marker-assisted selection and management in feedlot cattle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle*
  • Meat*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • STAT6 Transcription Factor / genetics*


  • STAT6 Transcription Factor