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Mapping a quantitative trait locus for the concentration of beta-lactoglobulin in milk, and the effect of beta-lactoglobulin genetic variants on the composition of milk from Holstein-Friesian x Jersey crossbred cows



Mapping a quantitative trait locus for the concentration of beta-lactoglobulin in milk, and the effect of beta-lactoglobulin genetic variants on the composition of milk from Holstein-Friesian x Jersey crossbred cows



New Zealand Veterinary Journal 58(1): 1-5



To identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting the concentration of beta-lactoglobulin in milk, and to evaluate the effect of beta-lactoglobulin genetic variants on the concentration of fat, protein and casein in bovine milk. A herd of 850 F2 Holstein-Friesian x Jersey crossbred cows was produced through mating six Holstein-Friesian x Jersey F1 bulls of high genetic merit with F1 cows from the national herd. A total of 1,610 herd-test records from 556 second-parity crossbreds were analysed. The concentration of fat, protein and casein in milk was measured at peak, mid- and late lactation, during the production seasons of 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. Liveweight was measured daily. DNA from the F2 animals, their F1 dams and sires, and selected grandsires was genotyped across the genome, initially with 285 microsatellite markers, and subsequently with 6,634 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP). A highly significant QTL for the concentration of beta-lactoglobulin in milk was identified, which coincided with the position of the beta-lactoglobulin gene on bovine Chromosome 11. No other consistently significant QTL for the concentration of beta-lactoglobulin in milk were detected. Cows with the BB beta-lactoglobulin genotype produced milk with a 30% lower concentration of beta-lactoglobulin than cows with the AA genotype. The beta-lactoglobulin polymorphism also explained variation in the proportion of casein in total protein. In addition, the percentage of fat was higher for BB than AA animals, whereas the percentage of total protein, mean daily milk yield and liveweight did not differ between AA and BB animals. A significant QTL determining the concentration of beta-lactoglobulin in milk was identified. Selection of animals for the beta-lactoglobulin B-allele may enable the production of milk naturally enriched for casein, thus allowing a potential increase in the yield of cheese. There may be additional future value in production of bovine milk more like human milk, where decreasing the concentration of beta-lactoglobulin is desirable.

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Accession: 054255920

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PMID: 20200568

DOI: 10.1080/00480169.2010.65053


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