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Variation in the bovine FABP₄ gene affects milk yield and milk protein content in dairy cows

Zhou, Huitong
Cheng, L
Azimu, W
Hodge, S
Edwards, GR
Hickford, Jonathan
Journal Article
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::0604 Genetics , ANZSRC::0702 Animal Production
Fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) bind long-chain fatty acids and are involved in their intracellular transport. Of the known bovine FABP genes, FABP₄ has been mapped to a region on chromosome 14 that contains quantitative trait loci for milk traits. This study investigated the association of FABP₄ haplotypes with milk production traits in 719 Holstein-Friesian × Jersey cows. Polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformational polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) analysis of a variable region of the gene revealed three haplotypes (A, B and C). Five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified: two in exon 3 and three in intron 3. A was associated (P = 0.032) with increased milk protein percentage (present: 4.00 ± 0.02%; absent: 3.95 ± 0.02%) and B was associated (P = 0.009) with increased milk yield (present: 23.81 ± 0.23 kg/d; absent: 23.06 ± 0.21 kg/d), but tended to be associated with a decrease in protein percentage and an increase in protein yield. Cows with genotypes AA, AB and AC produced less milk, but with a higher protein percentage than BC cows. This suggest that FABP₄ affects milk yield and milk protein content, both economically important traits, and that further study of this gene is warranted.
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