Research Article

Novel single nucleotide polymorphisms of the bovine methyltransferase 3b gene and their association with meat quality traits in beef cattle

Abstract

DNA methylation is essential for adipose deposition in mammals. We screened SNPs of the bovine DNA methyltransferase 3b (DNMT3b) gene in Snow Dragon beef, a commercial beef cattle population in China. Nine SNPs were found in the population and three of six novel SNPs were chosen for genotyping and analyzing a possible association with 16 meat quality traits. The frequencies of the alleles and genotypes of the three SNPs in Snow Dragon beef were similar to those in their terminal-paternal breed, Wagyu. Association analysis disclosed that SNP1 was not associated with any of the traits; SNP2 was significantly associated with lean meat color score and chuck short rib score, and SNP3 had a significant effect on dressing percentage and back-fat thickness in the beef population. The individuals with genotype GG for SNP2 had a 25.7% increase in lean meat color score and a 146% increase in chuck short rib score, compared with genotype AA. The cattle with genotype AG for SNP3 had 35.7 and 24% increases in dressing percentage and 28.8 and 29.2% increases in back-fat thickness, compared with genotypes GG and AA, respectively. Genotypic combination analysis revealed significant interactions between SNP1 and SNP2 and between SNP2 and SNP3 for the traits rib-eye area and live weight. We conclude that there is considerable evidence that DNMT3b is a determiner of beef quality traits.

DNA methylation is essential for adipose deposition in mammals. We screened SNPs of the bovine DNA methyltransferase 3b (DNMT3b) gene in Snow Dragon beef, a commercial beef cattle population in China. Nine SNPs were found in the population and three of six novel SNPs were chosen for genotyping and analyzing a possible association with 16 meat quality traits. The frequencies of the alleles and genotypes of the three SNPs in Snow Dragon beef were similar to those in their terminal-paternal breed, Wagyu. Association analysis disclosed that SNP1 was not associated with any of the traits; SNP2 was significantly associated with lean meat color score and chuck short rib score, and SNP3 had a significant effect on dressing percentage and back-fat thickness in the beef population. The individuals with genotype GG for SNP2 had a 25.7% increase in lean meat color score and a 146% increase in chuck short rib score, compared with genotype AA. The cattle with genotype AG for SNP3 had 35.7 and 24% increases in dressing percentage and 28.8 and 29.2% increases in back-fat thickness, compared with genotypes GG and AA, respectively. Genotypic combination analysis revealed significant interactions between SNP1 and SNP2 and between SNP2 and SNP3 for the traits rib-eye area and live weight. We conclude that there is considerable evidence that DNMT3b is a determiner of beef quality traits.