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This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Animal Genomics for Animal Health (AGAH 2010)

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Genome wide scan for somatic cell counts in holstein bulls

Giulietta Minozzi1*, Ezequiel L Nicolazzi2, Francesco Strozzi1, Alessandra Stella13, Riccardo Negrini2, Paolo Ajmone-Marsan2 and John L Williams1

Author affiliations

1 Parco Tecnologico Padano, Via Einstein, Polo Universitario, Lodi 26900, Italy

2 Istituto di Zootecnica, Facoltà di Agraria, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza, 29122 Italy

3 IBBA, CNR, Lodi, 26900, Italy

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Citation and License

BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 4):S17  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S4-S17

Published: 3 June 2011



Mastitis is the most costly disease for dairy production, and control of the disease is often difficult, due to its multi-factorial nature. Susceptibility to mastitis is under partial genetic control and the industry uses indirect selection for decreased concentrations of somatic cells in milk to reduce mastitis.


A genome-wide scan was performed to identify genomic regions associated with deregressed estimated breeding values (EBVs) for somatic cell counts (SCC) in Holstein bulls. In total 1183 proven bulls of the Italian of Holstein population, were genotyped with the BovineSNP50 BeadChip (Illumina, San Diego, CA) and a whole genome association analysis was performed using the R package GenABEL.


Two chromosomal regions showed association with SCC, a region on chromosome 14 with high significance (P < 5x10-6) and a region on chromosome 6 with moderate significance (P < 5x10-5).


Two regions with effects on SCC have been identified with good statistical support. A further study of these candidate regions will be performed to verify the results and identify the causal mutations.