The aim of the present study was twofold: first, to design a panel of 96 sires that reflects the breadth of genetic diversity in U.S. beef cattle, and second, to use this panel to discover nucleotide sequence diversity and haplotype structures of interleukin (IL)-8 in commercial populations. The latter is a requisite for epidemiological studies designed to test whether IL8 alleles are risk factors for acquiring or maintaining bacterial infections in production environments. IL-8 encodes a proinflammatory cytokine that plays a central role in cell-mediated immunity by attracting and activating neutrophils in the early stages of host defense against bacterial invasion. Seven single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were identified by sequencing two IL8 DNA segments amplified from the panel of 17 popular cattle breeds (MARC beef cattle diversity panel, version 2.1). Assays for automated genotype scoring by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) were developed to independently verify the seven SNP alleles in the 96 bulls and 313 cattle from the MARC reference population. Five haplotype structures, spanning the two IL8 DNA segments, were unambiguously defined for the set of seven IL8 SNPs. Based on the breadth of germplasm in bovine diversity panel, the five haplotype structures for IL8 are estimated to represent >98% of those present in these DNA segments in commercial populations of U.S. beef cattle. The frequencies of the five respective haplo-types in the eight Angus sires of the diversity panel (0.75, 0.25, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00) were similar to those scored in 150 purebred Angus cattle from six herds in four Midwestern states (0.82, 0.18, 0.01, 0.00, 0.00), suggesting that the diversity panel may also be useful for estimating allele frequencies in commercial populations.
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