Sequencing the mosaic genome of Brahman cattle identifies historic and recent introgression including polled

Sci Rep. 2018 Dec 10;8(1):17761. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-35698-5.


Brahman cattle have a Bos indicus and Bos taurus mosaic genome, as a result of the process used to create the breed (repeat backcrossing of Bos taurus females to Bos indicus bulls). With the aim of identifying Bos taurus segments in the Brahman genome at sequence level resolution, we sequenced the genomes of 46 influential Brahman bulls. Using 36 million variants identified in the sequences, we searched for regions close to fixation for Bos indicus or Bos taurus segments that were longer than expected by chance (from simulation of the breed formation history of Brahman cattle). Regions close to fixation for Bos indicus content were enriched for protein synthesis genes, while regions of higher Bos taurus content included genes of the G-protein coupled receptor family (including genes implicated in puberty, such as THRS). The region with the most extreme Bos taurus enrichment was on chromosome 14 surrounding PLAG1. The introgressed Bos taurus allele at PLAG1 increases stature and the high frequency of the allele likely reflects strong selection for the trait. Finally, we provide evidence that the polled mutation in Brahmans, a desirable trait under very strong recent selection, is of Celtic origin and is introgressed from Bos taurus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Breeding / methods
  • Cattle
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 14 / genetics
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Female
  • Genome / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled