OMIA:001372-9913 : Slick hair in Bos taurus (taurine cattle)

Categories: Integument (skin) phene

Links to possible relevant human trait(s) and/or gene(s) in OMIM: 176761 (gene)

Mendelian trait/disorder: yes

Mode of inheritance: Autosomal dominant

Considered a defect: yes

Key variant known: yes

Year key variant first reported: 2014

Species-specific description: This single-locus autosomal dominant trait confers increased thermotolerance within the breeds in which it originated (Senepol and Carora; Olsen et al., 2003) and also within Hosteins, into which it was introgressed (Dikmen et al., 2008; 2014). In the USA, FDA has determined in March 2022 that beef cattle with a genome edit to the PRLR gene and their offspring do not raise any safety concerns. "Based on the safety of consumption of meat from conventional breeds with the same mutation, the FDA finds no reason to regulate these CRISPR cattle. ... These cattle are the third genetically altered animals to be approved by the FDA, after AquaBounty’s AquAdvantage salmon and Revivicor’s GalSafe pigs." (PMID:35418643) (GMO)

Inheritance: Olson et al. (2003) reported "a major gene (designated as the slick hair gene), dominant in mode of inheritance, that is responsible for producing a very short, sleek hair coat . . . in Senepol cattle and criollo (Spanish origin) breeds in Central and South America . . .[and] in a Venezuelan composite breed, the Carora, formed from the Brown Swiss and a Venezuelan criollo breed". Sosa et al. (2021) "evaluated whether the inheritance of the SLICK1 allele inherited in a fashion consistent with Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium. It was hypothesized that any deleterious effect of inheriting the allele on embryonic or fetal function would result in reduced frequency of the allele in offspring. A total of 525 Holstein and Senepol cattle produced from matings involving one or both parents with the SLICK1 allele were genotyped. The observed frequency of the SLICK1 allele (0.247) was not significantly different than the expected frequency of 0.269. These results support the idea that inheritance of the SLICK1 allele does not act in the embryo or fetus to modify its competence to complete development to term."

Mapping: From a genome scan with microsatellite markers, Mariasegaram et al. (2007) mapped this locus to a region of chromosome BTA20. Using a 50k SNP chip, Flori et al. (2012) refined this region to just one positional candidate gene, namely "Retinoic Acid induced 14 gene (RAI14 or NORPEG)". Huson et al. (2014) narrowed this region even further, to "a 0.8 Mb (37.7-38.5 Mb) consensus region for the SLICK locus on BTA20 in which contains SKP2 and SPEF2 as possible candidate genes". From various lines of evidence, the authors concluded that there are "potentially two mutations, one common to Senepol and Romosinuano and another in Carora, effecting genes contained within our refined location for the SLICK locus."

Molecular basis: By sequencing the most likely positional functional candidate gene within the BTA20 region to which this trait had been mapped (see Mapping section), Littlejohn et al. (2014) identified a causal mutation as "a single homozygous frameshift mutation . . . consisting of a single base deletion in exon 10 that introduces a frameshift and a premature stop codon (p.(Ala461fs) and loss of 120 C-terminal amino acids from the long isoform of the receptor (ss1067289408; chr20:39136558GC>G". Porto-Neto et al. (2018) identified two other likely causal variants in the same PRLR gene, namely the stop-gained (nonsense) variants p.Ser465∗ (in the Limonero breed) and p.Arg497∗ (in the Carora and Limonero breeds). These two variants "explained almost 90% of investigated cases of animals that had slick coats, but which also did not carry the Senepol slick allele"; which indicates that there are more likely causal variants for slick hair yet to be discovered. Flórez Murillo et al. (2021) discovered three new variants, namely SLICK4, SLICK5 and SLICK6 (details in variant table below).

Genetic engineering: Yes - in addition to the occurrence of natural variants, variants have been created artificially, e.g. by genetic engineering or gene editing
Have human generated variants been created, e.g. through genetic engineering and gene editing

Breeds: Carora, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (Cattle) (VBO_0005370), Holstein (black and white) (Cattle) (VBO_0000237), Limonero, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (Cattle) (VBO_0005372), Romosinuano, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (Cattle) (VBO_0005376), Senepol (Cattle) (VBO_0000371).
Breeds in which the phene has been documented. (If a likely causal variant has been documented for the phene, see the variant table breeds in which the variant has been reported).

Associated gene:

Symbol Description Species Chr Location OMIA gene details page Other Links
PRLR prolactin receptor Bos taurus 20 NC_037347.1 (38915987..39108971) PRLR Homologene, Ensembl , NCBI gene


By default, variants are sorted chronologically by year of publication, to provide a historical perspective. Readers can re-sort on any column by clicking on the column header. Click it again to sort in a descending order. To create a multiple-field sort, hold down Shift while clicking on the second, third etc relevant column headers.

WARNING! Inclusion of a variant in this table does not automatically mean that it should be used for DNA testing. Anyone contemplating the use of any of these variants for DNA testing should examine critically the relevant evidence (especially in breeds other than the breed in which the variant was first described). If it is decided to proceed, the location and orientation of the variant sequence should be checked very carefully.

Since October 2021, OMIA includes a semiautomated lift-over pipeline to facilitate updates of genomic positions to a recent reference genome position. These changes to genomic positions are not always reflected in the ‘acknowledgements’ or ‘verbal description’ fields in this table.

OMIA Variant ID Breed(s) Variant Phenotype Gene Allele Type of Variant Source of Genetic Variant Reference Sequence Chr. g. or m. c. or n. p. Verbal Description EVA ID Year Published PubMed ID(s) Acknowledgements
1447 Slick hair PRLR SLICK4 nonsense (stop-gain) Naturally occurring variant ARS-UCD1.2 20 g.39099113C>G c.1281C>G p.(Y427*) NM_001039726.2; NP_001034815.1 2021 33259090
544 Carora, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (Cattle) Romosinuano, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (Cattle) Senepol (Cattle) Slick hair PRLR SLICK1 deletion, small (<=20) Naturally occurring variant ARS-UCD1.2 20 g.39099214del c.1382del p.(A461Vfs*2) NM_001039726.2; NP_001034815.1 rs517047387 2014 25519203 Variant coordinates obtained from or confirmed by EBI's Some Effect Predictor (VEP) tool; some variant information gleaned from or confirmed by Table 1 of  Sharma et al. (2017) Animal Genetics 48(3):369-370
974 Limonero, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (Cattle) Slick hair PRLR SLICK3 nonsense (stop-gain) Naturally occurring variant ARS-UCD1.2 20 g.39099226C>A c.1394C>A p.(S465*) NM_001039726.2; NP_001034815.1 2018 29527221
1448 Carora, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (Cattle) Romosinuano, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (Cattle) Slick hair PRLR SLICK5 nonsense (stop-gain) Naturally occurring variant ARS-UCD1.2 20 g.39099228A>T c.1396A>T p.(K466*) NM_001039726.2; NP_001034815.1 2021 33259090
1449 Carora, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (Cattle) Romosinuano, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (Cattle) Slick hair PRLR SLICK6 nonsense (stop-gain) Naturally occurring variant ARS-UCD1.2 20 g.39099267C>T c.1435C>T p.(Q479*) NM_001039726.2; NP_001034815.1 2021 33259090
975 Carora, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (Cattle) Limonero, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (Cattle) Romosinuano, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (Cattle) Slick hair PRLR SLICK2 nonsense (stop-gain) Naturally occurring variant ARS-UCD1.2 20 g.39099321C>T c.1489C>T p.(R497*) NM_001039726.2; NP_001034815.1 2018 29527221

Cite this entry

Nicholas, F. W., Tammen, I., & Sydney Informatics Hub. (2023). OMIA:001372-9913: Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA) [dataset].


Note: the references are listed in reverse chronological order (from the most recent year to the earliest year), and alphabetically by first author within a year.

2024 Contreras-Correa, Z.E., Sánchez-Rodríguez, H.L., Arick, M.A., Muñiz-Colón, G., Lemley, C.O. :
Thermotolerance capabilities, blood metabolomics and mammary gland hemodynamics and transcriptomic profiles of slick-haired Holstein cattle during mid-lactation in Puerto Rico. J Dairy Sci :S0022-0302(24)00018-3, 2024. Pubmed reference: 38246540. DOI: 10.3168/jds.2023-23878.
2022 [No authors listed] :
CRISPR beef cattle get FDA green light. Nat Biotechnol 40:448, 2022. Pubmed reference: 35418643. DOI: 10.1038/s41587-022-01297-z.
Sosa, F., Carmickle, A.T., Oliveira, L.J., Sagheer, M., Saleem, M., Yu, F.H., Altman, M.D., Dikmen, S., Denicol, A.C., Sonstegard, T.S., Larson, C.C., Hansen, P.J. :
Effects of the bovine SLICK1 mutation in PRLR on sweat gland area, FOXA1 abundance, and global gene expression in skin. J Dairy Sci 105:9206-9215, 2022. Pubmed reference: 36085108. DOI: 10.3168/jds.2022-22272.
Sosa, F., Santos, J.E.P., Rae, D.O., Larson, C.C., Macchietto, M., Abrahante, J.E., Amaral, T.F., Denicol, A.C., Sonstegard, T.S., Hansen, P.J. :
Effects of the SLICK1 mutation in PRLR on regulation of core body temperature and global gene expression in liver in cattle. Animal 16:100523, 2022. Pubmed reference: 35468510. DOI: 10.1016/j.animal.2022.100523.
2021 Caivio-Nasner, S., López-Herrera, A., González-Herrera, L.G., Rincón, J.C. :
Frequency of genotypic markers for genetic disorders, colour, polledness, and major genes in Blanco Orejinegro cattle. Trop Anim Health Prod 53:546, 2021. Pubmed reference: 34779908. DOI: 10.1007/s11250-021-02990-y.
Flórez Murillo, J.M., Landaeta-Hernández, A.J., Kim, E.S., Bostrom, J.R., Larson, S.A., Pérez O'Brien, A.M., Montero-Urdaneta, M.A., Garcia, J.F., Sonstegard, T.S. :
Three novel nonsense mutations of prolactin receptor found in heat-tolerant Bos taurus breeds of the Caribbean Basin. Anim Genet 52:132-134, 2021. Pubmed reference: 33259090. DOI: 10.1111/age.13027.
Johnsson, M., Jungnickel, M.K. :
Evidence for and localization of proposed causative variants in cattle and pig genomes. Genet Sel Evol 53:67, 2021. Pubmed reference: 34461824. DOI: 10.1186/s12711-021-00662-x.
Landaeta-Hernández, A.J., Zambrano-Nava, S., Verde, O., Pinto-Santini, L., Montero-Urdaneta, M., Hernández-Fonseca, J.P., Fuenmayor-Morales, C., Sonstegard, T.S., Huson, H.J., Olson, T.A. :
Heat stress response in slick vs normal-haired Criollo Limonero heifers in a tropical environment. Trop Anim Health Prod 53:445, 2021. Pubmed reference: 34427775. DOI: 10.1007/s11250-021-02856-3.
Sosa, F., Carmickle, A.T., Jiménez-Cabán, E., Ortega, M.S., Dikmen, S., Negrón-Pérez, V., Jannaman, E.A., Baktula, A., Rincon, G., Larson, C.C., Pagán-Morales, M., Denicol, A.C., Sonstegard, T.S., Hansen, P.J. :
Inheritance of the SLICK1 allele of PRLR in cattle. Anim Genet 52:887-890, 2021. Pubmed reference: 34642995. DOI: 10.1111/age.13145.
2020 Sarlo Davila, K.M., Howell, A., Nunez, A., Orelien, A., Roe, V., Rodriguez, E., Dikmen, S., Mateescu, R.G. :
Genome-wide association study identifies variants associated with hair length in Brangus cattle. Anim Genet , 2020. Pubmed reference: 32548856. DOI: 10.1111/age.12970.
2019 Poole, R.K., Devine, T.L., Mayberry, K.J., Eisemann, J.H., Poore, M.H., Long, N.M., Poole, D.H. :
Impact of slick hair trait on physiological and reproductive performance in beef heifers consuming ergot alkaloids from endophyte-infected tall fescue1. J Anim Sci 97:1456-1467, 2019. Pubmed reference: 30772895. DOI: 10.1093/jas/skz024.
2018 Porto-Neto, L.R., Bickhart, D.M., Landaeta-Hernandez, A.J., Utsunomiya, Y.T., Pagan, M., Jimenez, E., Hansen, P.J., Dikmen, S., Schroeder, S.G., Kim, E.S., Sun, J., Crespo, E., Amati, N., Cole, J.B., Null, D.J., Garcia, J.F., Reverter, A., Barendse, W., Sonstegard, T.S. :
Convergent evolution of slick coat in cattle through truncation mutations in the prolactin receptor. Front Genet 9:57, 2018. Pubmed reference: 29527221. DOI: 10.3389/fgene.2018.00057.
2016 Leroy, G., Besbes, B., Boettcher, P., Hoffmann, I., Capitan, A., Baumung, R. :
Rare phenotypes in domestic animals: unique resources for multiple applications. Anim Genet 47:141-53, 2016. Pubmed reference: 26662214. DOI: 10.1111/age.12393.
2014 Dikmen, S., Khan, F.A., Huson, H.J., Sonstegard, T.S., Moss, J.I., Dahl, G.E., Hansen, P.J. :
The SLICK hair locus derived from Senepol cattle confers thermotolerance to intensively managed lactating Holstein cows. J Dairy Sci 97:5508-20, 2014. Pubmed reference: 24996281. DOI: 10.3168/jds.2014-8087.
Huson, H.J., Kim, E.S., Godfrey, R.W., Olson, T.A., McClure, M.C., Chase, C.C., Rizzi, R., O'Brien, A.M., Van Tassell, C.P., Garcia, J.F., Sonstegard, T.S. :
Genome-wide association study and ancestral origins of the slick-hair coat in tropically adapted cattle. Front Genet 5:101, 2014. Pubmed reference: 24808908. DOI: 10.3389/fgene.2014.00101.
Littlejohn, M.D., Henty, K.M., Tiplady, K., Johnson, T., Harland, C., Lopdell, T., Sherlock, R.G., Li, W., Lukefahr, S.D., Shanks, B.C., Garrick, D.J., Snell, R.G., Spelman, R.J., Davis, S.R. :
Functionally reciprocal mutations of the prolactin signalling pathway define hairy and slick cattle. Nat Commun 5:5861, 2014. Pubmed reference: 25519203. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6861.
2012 Flori, L., Gonzatti, M.I., Thevenon, S., Chantal, I., Pinto, J., Berthier, D., Aso, P.M., Gautier, M. :
A quasi-exclusive European ancestry in the Senepol tropical cattle breed highlights the importance of the slick locus in tropical adaptation. PLoS One 7:e36133, 2012. Pubmed reference: 22675421. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036133.
2011 Landaeta-Hernández, A., Zambrano-Nava, S., Hernández-Fonseca, J.P., Godoy, R., Calles, M., Iragorri, J.L., Añez, L., Polanco, M., Montero-Urdaneta, M., Olson, T. :
Variability of hair coat and skin traits as related to adaptation in Criollo Limonero cattle. Trop Anim Health Prod 43:657-63, 2011. Pubmed reference: 21104126. DOI: 10.1007/s11250-010-9749-1.
2008 Dikmen, S., Alava, E., Pontes, E., Fear, J.M., Dikmen, B.Y., Olson, T.A., Hansen, P.J. :
Differences in thermoregulatory ability between slick-haired and wild-type lactating Holstein cows in response to acute heat stress. J Dairy Sci 91:3395-402, 2008. Pubmed reference: 18765598. DOI: 10.3168/jds.2008-1072.
2007 Mariasegaram, M., Chase, CC., Chaparro, JX., Olson, TA., Brenneman, RA., Niedz, RP. :
The slick hair coat locus maps to chromosome 20 in Senepol-derived cattle. Anim Genet 38:54-9, 2007. Pubmed reference: 17257189. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2007.01560.x.
2003 Olson, T.A., Lucena, C., Chase, C.C, Jr., ., Hammond, A.C. :
Evidence of a major gene influencing hair length and heat tolerance in Bos taurus cattle Journal of Animal Science 81:80-90, 2003. Pubmed reference: 12597376.

Edit History

  • Created by Frank Nicholas on 06 Sep 2005
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 07 Dec 2012
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 12 May 2014
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 12 Nov 2015
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 23 Mar 2018
  • Changed by Imke Tammen2 on 26 Aug 2021
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  • Changed by Imke Tammen2 on 19 Oct 2021
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 08 Apr 2022
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