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Open Access Research article

Identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms in bovine CARD15 and their associations with health and production traits in Canadian Holsteins

Sameer D Pant, Flavio S Schenkel, Ivan Leyva-Baca, Bhawani S Sharma and Niel A Karrow*

Author Affiliations

Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada

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BMC Genomics 2007, 8:421  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-421

Published: 15 November 2007



Toll-like receptor-2 (TLR2) and Caspase Recruitment Domain 15 (CARD15) are important pattern recognition receptors that play a role in the initiation of the inflammatory and subsequent immune response. They have been previously identified as susceptibility loci for inflammatory bowel diseases in humans and are, therefore, suitable candidate genes for inflammatory disease resistance in cattle. The objective of this study was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the bovine TLR2 and CARD15 and evaluate the association of these SNPs with health and production traits in a population of Canadian Holstein bulls.


A selective DNA pool was constructed based on the estimated breeding values (EBVs) for SCS. Gene segments were amplified from this pool in PCR reactions and the amplicons sequenced to reveal polymorphisms. A total of four SNPs, including one in intron 10 (c.2886-14A>G) and three in the exon 12 (c.3020A>T, c.4500A>C and c.4950C>T) were identified in CARD15; none were identified in TLR2. Canadian Holstein bulls (n = 338) were genotyped and haplotypes were reconstructed. Two SNPs, c.3020A>T and c.4500A>C, were associated with EBVs for health and production traits. The SNP, c.3020A>T, for example, was associated with SCS EBVs (p = 0.0097) with an allele substitution effect of 0.07 score. When compared to the most frequent haplotype Hap12(AC), Hap22(TC) was associated with increased milk (p < 0.0001) and protein (p = 0.0007) yield EBVs, and hap21(TA) was significantly associated with increased SCS EBV(p = 0.0120). All significant comparison-wise associations retained significance at 8% experimental-wise level by permutation test.


This study indicates that SNP c.3020A>T might play a role in the host response against mastitis and further detailed studies are needed to understand its functional mechanisms.