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Forelimb-girdle muscular anomaly is an autosomal recessive disorder of Japanese black cattle characterized by tremor, astasia and abnormal shape of the shoulders. Pathological examination of affected animals reveals hypoplasia of forelimb-girdle muscles with reduced diameter of muscle fibres. To identify the gene responsible for this disorder, we performed linkage mapping of the disorder locus using an inbred pedigree including a great-grand sire, a grand sire, a sire and 26 affected calves obtained from a herd of Japanese black cattle. Two hundred and fifty-eight microsatellite markers distributed across the genome were genotyped across the pedigree. Four markers on the middle region of bovine chromosome 26 showed significant linkage with the disorder locus. Haplotype analysis using additional markers in this region refined the critical region of the disorder locus to a 3.5-Mb interval on BTA26 between BM4505 and MOK2602. Comparative mapping data revealed several potential candidate genes for the disorder, including NRAP, PDZD8 and HSPA12A, which are associated with muscular function.