polled cattle

Absence of horns is controlled by a single dominant inherited mutation which was already mapped in the bovine genome. The location of an interacting second mutation responsible for the sex-influenced expression of scurs is still unclear.



The project aims to unravel the molecular basis of the presence/absence of horns in cattle. The causal mutation would enable the precise identification of homozygous polled animals for effective introgression of polled cattle.

Course of action

Genome-wide association study (GWAS) to map the scurs mutation. An across-breed fine-mapping of the scurs mutation. Identification of all variants in the critical interval between P/P and P/P resp. Sc/Sc and Sc/Sc animals. Identification of candidate causative mutations. Identification of the causative mutations for polled and scurs. Implementation in breeding programs.