Individual loci affecting economically important traits can be located using genetic linkage between quantitative trait loci and genetic markers. In the 'granddaughter' experimental design, heterozygous grandsires and their sons are genotyped for the genetic marker, while the quantitative trait records of the granddaughters are used for statistical analysis. Ten DNA microsatellite markers were used to look for associations with quantitative trait loci affecting milk production traits in seven Israeli Holstein grandsire families. At least 60% more grandsires were heterozygous, and 40% fewer individuals were discarded because of unknown paternal allele origin, as compared with diallelic markers. The effects of paternal alleles for locus D21S4 on kg milk and protein were significant (P < 0.025). The allele substitution effects for sire 783 were 283 kg milk and 5.7 kg protein. For both traits, progeny of sire 783 that inherited allele '18' had higher evaluations than progeny that inherited allele '21'. These results were verified by genotyping 151 of his daughters. Thus, the rate of genetic gain for protein production can be increased by selecting progeny of sire 783 carrying allele '18' at this locus.