Pit-1 gene polymorphism, milk yield, and conformation traits for Italian Holstein-Friesian bulls

J Dairy Sci. 1997 Dec;80(12):3431-8. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(97)76319-7.


The growth hormone factor-1/pituitary-specific transcription factor Pit-1 is responsible for the expression of growth hormone in mammals. Mutations in Pit-1 have been found in growth hormone disorders of mice and humans. We studied the eventual association between Pit-1 polymorphism using the HinfI enzyme and the milk yield and conformation traits of 89 Italian Holstein-Friesian bulls. A strategy employing polymerase chain reaction was used to amplify a 451-bp fragment from semen DNA. Digestion of polymerase chain reaction products with HinfI revealed two alleles: allele A was not digested (451-bp fragment), and allele B was cut at one restriction site, generating two fragments of 244 and 207 bp. Three patterns were observed; frequencies were 2.2, 31.5, and 66.3% for AA, AB, and BB, respectively. Fixed and mixed linear models were fitted on daughter yield deviations for milk yields and on deregressed proofs for conformation traits. Predictions were weighted using the inverse of the estimated variance of records. The models used contained mean and gene substitution effects for Pit-1 A allele as fixed effects and random sire effect for the mixed model. The A allele was found to be superior for milk and protein yields, inferior for fat percentage, and superior for body depth, angularity, and rear leg set, which is difficult to explain. A canonical transformation revealed that Pit-1 had three actions, one linked to milk yield traits and angularity, a second linked to body depth and rear leg set, and a third linked to lower fat yields and to higher angularity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Deoxyribonucleases, Type II Site-Specific
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • Lactation / genetics*
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Transcription Factor Pit-1
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factor Pit-1
  • Transcription Factors
  • Deoxyribonucleases, Type II Site-Specific
  • GANTC-specific type II deoxyribonucleases