Effects of milk protein genetic variants on milk yield and composition

J Dairy Res. 1984 Nov;51(4):531-46. doi: 10.1017/s0022029900032854.


Effects of genetic variants of the milk proteins, alpha S1-casein, beta-casein, kappa-casein and beta-lactoglobulin (beta-lg), on milk yield and composition, particularly the protein composition, were investigated in milk samples from 289 Jersey and 249 Friesian cows in eight commercial herds. Milk protein genotypes had no significant effect on yields over a complete lactation of milk and fat, but significant differences in fat content were detected for beta-casein (B, A1B, A2 greater than A1A2) and beta-lg (B, AB greater than A) variants. Significant differences between beta-lg variants were also found with total solids (B, AB greater than A), casein (B, AB greater than A), whey protein (A greater than AB greater than B) and beta-lg (A greater than AB, AC greater than B greater than BC) concentrations. Casein genotypes were not significantly different in total protein and casein concentrations but many differences were found in casein composition. alpha S1-Casein variants significantly affected alpha S1-casein (BC greater than B) and kappa-casein (B greater than BC) concentrations. beta-Casein variants affected concentration and proportion of beta-casein (A1B, A2B greater than A1, A1A2, A2, B), alpha S1-casein (A1, A2 greater than B) and kappa-casein (B greater than A2) and concentration of whey protein (A1 greater than most other beta-casein variants). kappa-Casein variants affected concentration and proportion of kappa-casein (B greater than AB greater than A), proportion of alpha S1-casein (A greater than AB greater than B) and concentrations of beta-lg (A greater than AB, B) and alpha-lactalbumin (A, AB greater than B). Differences in milk composition were found between breeds, herds and ages, and with stage of lactation. The potential use of milk protein genotypes as an aid in dairy cattle breeding is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Australia
  • Caseins / analysis
  • Caseins / genetics
  • Cattle / genetics
  • Cattle / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genotype
  • Lactation
  • Lipids / analysis
  • Milk / analysis
  • Milk / metabolism*
  • Milk Proteins / analysis
  • Milk Proteins / genetics*
  • Pregnancy


  • Caseins
  • Lipids
  • Milk Proteins