The objective of this study was to quantify the extent of linkage disequilibrium (LD) on bovine chromosomes 19 and 29 and to study the pattern of selection signatures in beef and dairy breeds (Angus and Holstein) of Bos taurus. The extent of LD was estimated for 370 and 186 single nucleotide polymorphism markers on BTA19 and 29 respectively using the square of the correlation coefficient (r2) among alleles at pairs of loci. A comparison of the extent of LD found that the decline of LD followed a similar pattern in both breeds. We observed long-range LD and found that LD dissipates to background levels at a locus separation of about 20 Mb on both chromosomes. Along each chromosome, patterns of LD were variable in both breeds. We find that a minimum of 30 000 informative and evenly spaced markers would be required for whole-genome association studies in cattle. In addition, we have identified chromosomal regions that show some evidence of selection for economically important traits in Angus and Holstein cattle. The results of this study are of importance for the design and application of association studies
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