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Association of polymorphism in Exon 3 of toll-like receptor 4 gene with somatic cell score and milk production traits in Holstein dairy cows of Iran. South African Journal of Animal Science. 43:493-498.

Mastitis is a complex inflammatory disease of the mammary gland that is caused by the invasion of pathogens. This leads to reduced synthetic capacity, compositional changes and increased somatic cell counts (SCC) in milk. Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is a cell surface receptor that recognizes lipopolysaccharides (LPS) of gram-negative bacteria. Its role in pathogen recognition and the subsequent immune response and differential expression of the gene during mastitis have prompted the investigation of TLR4 gene as a candidate to improve mastitis resistance in dairy cattle. The aim of this study was to analyse the possible association of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in putative co-receptor-binding region 2 (T4CRBR2) of TLR4 gene with somatic cell score (SCS) and milk-related traits in 408 Iranian Holstein cows. Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technique was performed for genotyping. The effect of the genotype on the traits of interest was analysed using the general linear model (GLM) procedure of SAS software. The B allele frequency was 0.634 and the distribution of genotypes was not in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in the overall population. The B allele of the SNP was associated with higher 305-day milk yield and breeding value for milk yield, and lower fat percentage and lower SCS, as compared with allele A. The association between TLR4 polymorphism with SCS and milk production traits reported in this study suggests that this SNP has the potential to be used as a marker for selection, based on molecular information.

Keywords: TLR4 gene, mastitis, candidate gene, milk-related traits, Holstein dairy cows

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