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Gene sequence deletion linked to reduced fertility and increased milk production in dairy cattle

Newly published research by Aarhus University in Denmark reports on a gene sequence deletion in dairy cattle which was found to have a positive effect on milk yield but caused embryonic death in dairy cattle.

The deleted gene sequence encompasses four genes, and the deletion is present in 13%, 23% and 32% in Danish, Swedish and Finnish Red Cattle, respectively.

The researchers showed that this deletion is recessive embryonically lethal mutation, but the deletion also has strong positive effects on milk yield. 

The paper can be accessed at


Journal Reference: Naveen Kumar Kadri, et al. A 660-Kb Deletion with Antagonistic Effects on Fertility and Milk Production Segregates at High Frequency in Nordic Red Cattle: Additional Evidence for the Common Occurrence of Balancing Selection in Livestock. PLoS Genetics, 2014; 10 (1): e1004049 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004049


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