DNA-based identification of novel bovine casein gene variants

Gallinat, J. L.; Qanbari, S.; Drögemüller, Cord; Pimentel, E. C. G.; Thaller, G.; Tetens, J. (2013). DNA-based identification of novel bovine casein gene variants. Journal of dairy science, 96(1), pp. 699-709. American Dairy Science Association 10.3168/jds.2012-5908

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In cattle, at least 39 variants of the 4 casein proteins (α(S1)-, β-, α(S2)- and κ-casein) have been described to date. Many of these variants are known to affect milk-production traits, cheese-processing properties, and the nutritive value of milk. They also provide valuable information for phylogenetic studies. So far, the majority of studies exploring the genetic variability of bovine caseins considered European taurine cattle breeds and were carried out at the protein level by electrophoretic techniques. This only allows the identification of variants that, due to amino acid exchanges, differ in their electric charge, molecular weight, or isoelectric point. In this study, the open reading frames of the casein genes CSN1S1, CSN2, CSN1S2, and CSN3 of 356 animals belonging to 14 taurine and 3 indicine cattle breeds were sequenced. With this approach, we identified 23 alleles, including 5 new DNA sequence variants, with a predicted effect on the protein sequence. The new variants were only found in indicine breeds and in one local Iranian breed, which has been phenotypically classified as a taurine breed. A multidimensional scaling approach based on available SNP chip data, however, revealed an admixture of taurine and indicine populations in this breed as well as in the local Iranian breed Golpayegani. Specific indicine casein alleles were also identified in a few European taurine breeds, indicating the introgression of indicine breeds into these populations. This study shows the existence of substantial undiscovered genetic variability of bovine casein loci, especially in indicine cattle breeds. The identification of new variants is a valuable tool for phylogenetic studies and investigations into the evolution of the milk protein genes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Genetics

UniBE Contributor:

Drögemüller, Cord


500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture




American Dairy Science Association




Susanne Portner

Date Deposited:

28 Jul 2014 13:31

Last Modified:

28 Jul 2014 13:31

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

casein, genetic variant, Bos indicus, Bos taurus



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