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Big cattle -- the genes that determine carcass weight

An area of chromosome 6 that affects cattle carcass weight has been identified using two different Japanese species. Knowledge of this four-gene region, described in the open access journal BMC Genetics, should be useful in breeding beef cattle.

Akiko Takasuga, from the Shirakawa Institute of Animal Genetics, led a team of researchers who studied Japanese Black and Japanese Brown cattle, two breeds that have survived separately for thousands of years.

According to Takasuga, "The 591-kb critical region contains four genes, LOC523874, C6H4orf30, NCAPG, and LOC540095. Interestingly, LOC540095 is the bovine ortholog of the human gene LCORL, and the NCAPG-LCORL region was recently identified as one determinant of human adult height".

The researchers have named the size-determining region CW-2 and have found a single nucleotide polymorphism which can be used as a positional candidate of CW-2 for marker-assisted selection. Takasuga said, "The CW-2 genotype explains a large portion of phenotypic variance. It may be widely distributed among European cattle breeds and not yet be fixed. Selection for this genotype should accelerate the breeding of meatier cattle".

1. Cross-breed comparisons identified a critical 591-kb region for bovine carcass weight QTL (CW-2) on chromosome 6 and the Ile-442-Met substitution in NCAPG as a positional candidate
Kouji Setoguchi, Masako Furuta, Takashi Hirano, Tomoko Nagao, Toshio Watanabe, Yoshikazu Sugimoto and Akiko Takasuga

BMC Genetics (in press)

2. BMC Genetics is an open access journal publishing original peer-reviewed research articles in all aspects of inheritance and variation in individuals and among populations. BMC Genetics (ISSN 1471-2156) is indexed/tracked/covered by PubMed, MEDLINE, BIOSIS, CAS, Scopus, EMBASE, Zoological Record, Thomson Reuters (ISI) and Google Scholar.

3. BioMed Central ( is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.

Graeme Baldwin | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: BMC Big Bang BioMed CW-2 Genetics NCAPG STM beef cattle cattle carcass weight phenotypic variance

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