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Fatty acid composition, especially oleic acid (C18:1), plays an important role in the eating quality of meat in Japanese Black cattle. Therefore, the objective of this study was to identify loci associated with C18:1 in the intramuscular fat of the trapezius muscles in Japanese Black cattle using the Illumina BovineSNP50 BeadChip whole genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assay. We also evaluated the relationship between C18:1 and three fatty acid synthesis genes, fatty acid synthase (FASN), stearoyl-CoA desaturase and sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1. In this experiment, we applied a mixed model and Genomic Control approach using selective genotyping to perform a genome-wide association study. A total of 160 animals (80 animals with higher values and 80 animals with lower values), selected from 3356 animals based on corrected phenotype, were genotyped using the Illumina BovineSNP50 BeadChip and three fatty acid synthesis genes, and the quality of these SNPs was assessed. In this study, a total of 38 955 SNPs, which included SNPs in the three fatty acid synthesis genes, were used, and the estimated inflation factor was 1.06. In the studied population, a total of 32 SNPs, including the FASN gene, had significant effects, and in particular 30 SNPs of all significant SNPs were located between 49 and 55 Mbp on chromosome 19. This study is one of the first genome-wide association studies for fatty acid composition in a cattle population using the recently released Illumina BovineSNP50 BeadChip.