Maurício Mello de Alencar
Other affiliations: National Council for Scientific and Technological Development
Bio: Maurício Mello de Alencar is an academic researcher from Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária. The author has contributed to research in topics: Beef cattle & Heritability. The author has an hindex of 29, co-authored 148 publications receiving 2743 citations. Previous affiliations of Maurício Mello de Alencar include National Council for Scientific and Technological Development.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: The genomic regions and genes identified contribute to a better understanding of the genetic control of fatty acid deposition and can lead to DNA-based selection strategies to improve meat quality for human consumption.
Abstract: Meat from Bos taurus and Bos indicus breeds are an important source of nutrients for humans and intramuscular fat (IMF) influences its flavor, nutritional value and impacts human health. Human consumption of fat that contains high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) can reduce the concentration of undesirable cholesterol (LDL) in circulating blood. Different feeding practices and genetic variation within and between breeds influences the amount of IMF and fatty acid (FA) composition in meat. However, it is difficult and costly to determine fatty acid composition, which has precluded beef cattle breeding programs from selecting for a healthier fatty acid profile. In this study, we employed a high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip to genotype 386 Nellore steers, a Bos indicus breed and, a Bayesian approach to identify genomic regions and putative candidate genes that could be involved with deposition and composition of IMF. Twenty-three genomic regions (1-Mb SNP windows) associated with IMF deposition and FA composition that each explain ≥ 1% of the genetic variance were identified on chromosomes 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 17, 26 and 27. Many of these regions were not previously detected in other breeds. The genes present in these regions were identified and some can help explain the genetic basis of deposition and composition of fat in cattle. The genomic regions and genes identified contribute to a better understanding of the genetic control of fatty acid deposition and can lead to DNA-based selection strategies to improve meat quality for human consumption.
TL;DR: Meat quality traits in Nelore are controlled by numerous QTL of small effect, except for a small number of large-effect QTL identified for a*fat, CL, and pH, which appear to differ from those identified in taurine cattle for meat quality traits.
Abstract: Meat quality traits are economically important because they affect consumers' acceptance, which, in turn, influences the demand for beef. However, selection to improve meat quality is limited by the small numbers of animals on which meat tenderness can be evaluated due to the cost of performing shear force analysis and the resultant damage to the carcass. Genome wide-association studies for Warner-Bratzler shear force measured at different times of meat aging, backfat thickness, ribeye muscle area, scanning parameters [lightness, redness (a*), and yellowness] to ascertain color characteristics of meat and fat, water-holding capacity, cooking loss (CL), and muscle pH were conducted using genotype data from the Illumina BovineHD BeadChip array to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) in all phenotyped Nelore cattle. Phenotype count for these animals ranged from 430 to 536 across traits. Meat quality traits in Nelore are controlled by numerous QTL of small effect, except for a small number of large-effect QTL identified for a*fat, CL, and pH. Genomic regions harboring these QTL and the pathways in which the genes from these regions act appear to differ from those identified in taurine cattle for meat quality traits. These results will guide future QTL mapping studies and the development of models for the prediction of genetic merit to implement genomic selection for meat quality in Nelore cattle.
TL;DR: Genomic regions and genes that play roles in birth weight, weaning weight, and long-yearling weight adjusted for 420 days of age (LYW) in Canchim cattle are identified and new candidate regions for body weight traits were detected.
Abstract: Studies are being conducted on the applicability of genomic data to improve the accuracy of the selection process in livestock, and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) provide valuable information to enhance the understanding on the genetics of complex traits. The aim of this study was to identify genomic regions and genes that play roles in birth weight (BW), weaning weight adjusted for 210 days of age (WW), and long-yearling weight adjusted for 420 days of age (LYW) in Canchim cattle. GWAS were performed by means of the Generalized Quasi-Likelihood Score (GQLS) method using genotypes from the BovineHD BeadChip and estimated breeding values for BW, WW, and LYW. Data consisted of 285 animals from the Canchim breed and 114 from the MA genetic group (derived from crossings between Charolais sires and ½ Canchim + ½ Zebu dams). After applying a false discovery rate correction at a 10% significance level, a total of 4, 12, and 10 SNPs were significantly associated with BW, WW, and LYW, respectively. These SNPs were surveyed to their corresponding genes or to surrounding genes within a distance of 250 kb. The genes DPP6 (dipeptidyl-peptidase 6) and CLEC3B (C-type lectin domain family 3 member B) were highlighted, considering its functions on the development of the brain and skeletal system, respectively. The GQLS method identified regions on chromosome associated with birth weight, weaning weight, and long-yearling weight in Canchim and MA animals. New candidate regions for body weight traits were detected and some of them have interesting biological functions, of which most have not been previously reported. The observation of QTL reports for body weight traits, covering areas surrounding the genes (SNPs) herein identified provides more evidence for these associations. Future studies targeting these areas could provide further knowledge to uncover the genetic architecture underlying growth traits in Canchim cattle.
TL;DR: This study presented the first high density linkage disequilibrium map and haplotype block structure for a composite beef cattle population, and indicates that the high density SNP panel over 700 k can be used for genomic selection implementation and GWA studies for Canchim beef cattle.
Abstract: The development of linkage disequilibrium (LD) maps and the characterization of haplotype block structure at the population level are useful parameters for guiding genome wide association (GWA) studies, and for understanding the nature of non-linear association between phenotypes and genes. The elucidation of haplotype block structure can reduce the information of several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) into the information of a haplotype block, reducing the number of SNPs in a coherent way for consideration in GWA and genomic selection studies. The maximum average LD, measured by r2 varied between 0.33 to 0.40 at a distance of < 2.5 kb, and the minimum average values of r2 varied between 0.05 to 0.07 at distances ranging from 400 to 500 kb, clearly showing that the average r2 reduced with the increase in SNP pair distances. The persistence of LD phase showed higher values at shorter genomic distances, decreasing with the increase in physical distance, varying from 0.96 at a distance of < 2.5 kb to 0.66 at a distance from 400 to 500 kb. A total of 78% of all SNPs were clustered into haplotype blocks, covering 1,57 Mb of the total autosomal genome size. This study presented the first high density linkage disequilibrium map and haplotype block structure for a composite beef cattle population, and indicates that the high density SNP panel over 700 k can be used for genomic selection implementation and GWA studies for Canchim beef cattle.
TL;DR: The Canchim beef cattle has been selected for meat production in Brazil since late 1950 and in the present work the effects of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) polymorphisms were investigated in 688 animals born between 1998 and 2000.
Abstract: The Canchim beef cattle (5/8 Charolais + 3/8 Zebu) has been selected for meat production in Brazil since late 1950. In the present work the effects of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) polymorphisms were investigated in 688 animals born between 1998 and 2000. These animals belonged to two genetic groups, i.e., traditional and new lineages. Genotype effects on expected breeding values for birth weight (BW), weaning weight (WW) and yearling weight (YW) were investigated by the least square method. Significant effects were found for GH genotype on YW (p ≤ 0.05), with positive effects associated with the LV (leucine/valine) genotype. For IGF-1 genotypes, significant effects were found on BW (p ≤ 0.01) and YW (p ≤ 0.01). Average substitution effects for IGF-1 alleles estimated by regression analysis suggested a positive effect of the IGF-1 225 bp allele on BW and of the 229 bp allele on YW.
TL;DR: It is suggested that the natural selection against large insertion/deletion is so weak that a large amount of variation is maintained in a population.
Abstract: The relationship between the two estimates of genetic variation at the DNA level, namely the number of segregating sites and the average number of nucleotide differences estimated from pairwise comparison, is investigated. It is found that the correlation between these two estimates is large when the sample size is small, and decreases slowly as the sample size increases. Using the relationship obtained, a statistical method for testing the neutral mutation hypothesis is developed. This method needs only the data of DNA polymorphism, namely the genetic variation within population at the DNA level. A simple method of computer simulation, that was used in order to obtain the distribution of a new statistic developed, is also presented. Applying this statistical method to the five regions of DNA sequences in Drosophila melanogaster, it is found that large insertion/deletion (greater than 100 bp) is deleterious. It is suggested that the natural selection against large insertion/deletion is so weak that a large amount of variation is maintained in a population.
TL;DR: For the next few weeks the course is going to be exploring a field that’s actually older than classical population genetics, although the approach it’ll be taking to it involves the use of population genetic machinery.
Abstract: So far in this course we have dealt entirely with the evolution of characters that are controlled by simple Mendelian inheritance at a single locus. There are notes on the course website about gametic disequilibrium and how allele frequencies change at two loci simultaneously, but we didn’t discuss them. In every example we’ve considered we’ve imagined that we could understand something about evolution by examining the evolution of a single gene. That’s the domain of classical population genetics. For the next few weeks we’re going to be exploring a field that’s actually older than classical population genetics, although the approach we’ll be taking to it involves the use of population genetic machinery. If you know a little about the history of evolutionary biology, you may know that after the rediscovery of Mendel’s work in 1900 there was a heated debate between the “biometricians” (e.g., Galton and Pearson) and the “Mendelians” (e.g., de Vries, Correns, Bateson, and Morgan). Biometricians asserted that the really important variation in evolution didn’t follow Mendelian rules. Height, weight, skin color, and similar traits seemed to
TL;DR: This 11th edition of the book Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, featuring the work of more than 190 expert authors and divided into five parts, fully explains and encapsulates the fundamentals of nutrition and its role in contemporary society.
Abstract: This 11th edition of the book Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, featuring the work of more than 190 expert authors and divided into five parts, fully explains and encapsulates the fundamentals of nutrition and its role in contemporary society, from mastering the basic science of nutrient metabolism and function to applying nutritional concepts to combat human disease. Part I comprehensively covers specific dietary components, including major dietary constituents, minerals, vitamins and other Other CABI sites
TL;DR: Given the potential for significant future changes in production conditions and in the objectives of livestock production, it is essential that the value provided by animal genetic diversity is secured.
Abstract: Livestock production both contributes to and is affected by climate change In addition to the physiological effects of higher temperatures on individual animals, the consequences of climate change are likely to include increased risk that geographically restricted rare breed populations will be badly affected by disturbances Indirect effects may be felt via ecosystem changes that alter the distribution of animal diseases or affect the supply of feed Breeding goals may have to be adjusted to account for higher temperatures, lower quality diets and greater disease challenge Species and breeds that are well adapted to such conditions may become more widely used Climate change mitigation strategies, in combination with ever increasing demand for food, may also have an impact on breed and species utilization, driving a shift towards monogastrics and breeds that are efficient converters of feed into meat, milk and eggs This may lead to the neglect of the adaptation potential of local breeds in developing countries Given the potential for significant future changes in production conditions and in the objectives of livestock production, it is essential that the value provided by animal genetic diversity is secured This requires better characterization of breeds, production environments and associated knowledge; the compilation of more complete breed inventories; improved mechanisms to monitor and respond to threats to genetic diversity; more effective in situ and ex situ conservation measures; genetic improvement programmes targeting adaptive traits in high-output and performance traits in locally adapted breeds; increased support for developing countries in their management of animal genetic resources; and wider access to genetic resources and associated knowledge
TL;DR: This Article contains an error in the order of the Figures, where Figures 2 and 3 were inverted.
Abstract: Scientific Reports 6: Article number: 39493; published online: 22 December 2016; updated: 05 April 2017 This Article contains an error in the order of the Figures, where Figures 2 and 3 were inverted. The correct Figures 2 and 3 appear below: