OMIA 001372-9913 : Slick hair in Bos taurus

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).

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".

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 premature stop codon (p.Leu462*) and loss of 120 C-terminal amino acids from the long isoform of the receptor (ss1067289408; chr20:39136558GC>G".

Porto-Neto et a. (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.

Breeds: Carora, Limonero, Romosinuano, Senepol.

Associated gene:

Symbol Description Species Chr Location OMIA gene details page Other Links
PRLR prolactin receptor Bos taurus 20 NC_037347.1 (38915315..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.

Breed(s) Variant Phenotype Gene Allele Type of Variant Reference Sequence Chr. g. or m. c. or n. p. Verbal Description EVA ID Year Published PubMed ID(s) Acknowledgements
Carora Romosinuano Senepol Slick hair PRLR deletion, small (<=20) UMD3.1 20 g.39136559delC p.Leu462* ss1067289408 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
Limonero Slick hair PRLR nonsense (stop-gain) UMD3.1 20 g.39136571C>A p.Ser465∗ 2018 29527221
Carora Limonero Slick hair PRLR nonsense (stop-gain) UMD3.1 20 g.39136666C>T p.Arg497∗ 2018 29527221


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.
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 :, 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