FABP4 is a leading candidate gene associated with residual feed intake in growing holstein calves

Miri Cohen-Zinder, Aviv Asher, Ehud Lipkin, Roi Feingersch, Rotem Agmon, David Karasik, Arieh Brosh, Ariel Shabtay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Ecological and economic concerns drive the need to improve feed utilization by domestic animals. Residual feed intake (RFI) is one of the most acceptable measures for feed efficiency (FE). However, phenotyping RFI-related traits is complex and expensive and requires special equipment. Advances in marker technology allow the development of various DNA-based selection tools. To assimilate these technologies for the benefit of RFI-based selection, reliable phenotypic measures are prerequisite. In the current study, we identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with RFI phenotypic consistency across different ages and diets (named RFI 1-3), using DNA samples of high or low RFI ranked Holstein calves. Using targeted sequencing of chromosomal regions associated with FE- and RFI-related traits, we identified 48 top SNPs significantly associated with at least one of three defined RFIs. Eleven of these SNPs were harbored by the fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4). While 10 significant SNPs found in FABP4 were common for RFI 1 and RFI 3, one SNP (FABP4_5; A < G substitution), in the promoter region of the gene, was significantly associated with all three RFIs. As the three RFI classes reflect changing diets and ages with concomitant RFI phenotypic consistency, the above polymorphisms and in particular FABP4_5, might be considered possible markers for RFI-based selection for FE in the Holstein breed, following a larger-scale validation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-376
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiological Genomics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 the American Physiological Society.


  • Candidate genes
  • Cattle
  • FABP4
  • QTL
  • Residual feed intake


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