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 Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

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: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>