beta, beta-carotene-9', 10'-dioxygenase (BCO2) plays a role in cleaving beta-carotene eccentrically, and may be involved in the control of adipose and milk colour in cattle. The bovine BCO2 gene was sequenced as a potential candidate gene for a beef fat colour QTL on chromosome (BTA) 15. A single nucleotide base change located in exon 3 causes the substitution of a stop codon (encoded by the A allele) for tryptophan(80) (encoded by the G allele) (c. 240G>A, p.Trp80stop, referred to herein as SNP W80X). Association analysis showed significant differences in subcutaneous fat colour and beta-carotene concentration amongst cattle with different BCO2 genotypes. Animals with the BCO2 AA genotype had more yellow beef fat and a higher beta-carotene concentration in adipose tissues than those with the GA or GG genotype. QTL mapping analysis with the BCO2 SNP W80X fitted as a fixed effect confirmed that this SNP is likely to represent the quantitative trait nucleotide (QTN) for the fat colour-related traits on BTA 15. Moreover, animals with the AA genotype had yellower milk colour and a higher concentration of beta-carotene in the milk.