Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists Identify Bovine Gene Regulating Milk Production

20.02.2003


MTT Agrifood Research Finland and the University of Liège, Belgium, have worked together successfully in locating a gene that regulates total yield and protein and fat content of milk. The scientists found a variation in the growth hormone receptor gene in the bovine chromosome 20. The variation in the receptor gene is associated with a major effect on milk yield and composition in Ayrshire, Holstein and Jersey cows.



Dr Johanna Vilkki of MTT says that developing associated markers for genes that affect milk traits is not highly prioritised in breeding since it is relatively easy to improve these traits by conventional selection.

The value of the finding is scientific. This is the second time that a clear quantified association has been demonstrated between a single gene and bovine milk production. The MTT group is currently fine-mapping the genes that affect cows’ susceptibility to mastitis. This is of interest to cattle breeders, since traits sensitive to environmental effects, such as disease resistance, are difficult to improve by conventional methods, and for economic and welfare reasons the eradication of mastitis is an important goal for dairy cattle breeders.


Milk Genes Diagnosed From The Embryo

The present discovery will help breeders select bulls siring daughters with more economical milk production.

The ‘water’ version of the gene results in a 200 kg increase in annual production per cow, respectively decreasing the fat and protein content. The more cost-effective version of the gene will increase the average protein content in milk by 0.06 percentage units and the fat content by 0.15 percentage units, albeit at the expense of total milk yield. In 2002 the annual yield of the Finnish Ayrshire cow was 7,381 kg of milk with fat % of 4.36 and protein % of 3.36. According to Dr Vilkki, the vast majority of Finnish Ayrshire cattle are already carrying the more advantageous form of the gene.

The study, launched in 1999, was part of the EU biotechnology programme project EURIBDIS, in which altogether six European research groups cooperated. The sparse mapping of the entire genome of the Finnish Ayrshire, completed by MTT about two years ago, provided the basis for the present study.

MTT is a co-applicant in an international application for a patent for the use of the variation in the sequence of the growth hormone receptor gene in selection for milk-composition. There is only one comparable patent anywhere in the world, and that is also a result of work by the same international research group.

Simultaneously with the milk gene discovery, MTT’s researchers have developed a method allowing diagnosis of the gene variants from a bovine embryo biopsy. This allows the results to be immediately applied in the ASMO breeding programme, where selection is enhanced by extensive use of embryo transfer.

Johanna Vilkki | alfa

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Robotic weeders: to a farm near you?
10.01.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht Alfalfa loss? Annual ryegrass is a win
03.01.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Breaking bad metals with neutrons

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

ISFH-CalTeC is “designated test centre” for the confirmation of solar cell world records

16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>