Effects of the Osteopontin Gene Variants on Milk Production Traits in Dairy Cattle

J Dairy Sci. 2005 Nov;88(11):4083-6. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(05)73092-7.


Osteopontin (OPN) is a highly phosphorylated glycoprotein whose gene has been cloned and sequenced in different species. Several whole genome scans have identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting milk production traits on bovine chromosome 6 close to the osteopontin gene (OPN) location. The presence of OPN in milk and its elevated expression in mammary gland epithelial cells together with previous QTL studies have prompted us to investigate the effects of OPN variants on milk production traits in the Holstein dairy cattle population. A single nucleotide polymorphism in intron 4 (C/T) was detected and primers were designed to amplify genomic DNA from 1362 bulls obtained from Cooperative Dairy DNA Repository and from 214 cows from the University of Wisconsin herd. For the Repository population, the C allele was associated with an increase in milk protein percentage and milk fat percentage. Correlation between milk protein percentage and milk fat percentage was about 0.57. For the University of Wisconsin herd, the estimates of the effects of allele C were in the same direction as for the Repository population, although these estimates did not reach statistical significance. Our results are consistent with other studies that showed a significant association of the microsatellite markers in the region of OPN with milk protein percentage and other correlated traits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Cattle / genetics*
  • DNA / analysis
  • Fats / analysis
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genotype
  • Introns / genetics
  • Lactation / genetics*
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics
  • Milk / chemistry
  • Milk Proteins / analysis
  • Osteopontin
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Quantitative Trait Loci / genetics
  • Semen / chemistry
  • Sialoglycoproteins / analysis
  • Sialoglycoproteins / genetics*
  • Wisconsin


  • Fats
  • Milk Proteins
  • Sialoglycoproteins
  • Osteopontin
  • DNA