It has been shown that milk infrared (IR) spectroscopy can be used to predict detailed milk fat composition. In addition, polymorphisms with substantial effects on milk fat composition have been identified. In this study, we investigated the combined use of milk IR spectroscopy and genotypes of dairy cows on the accuracy of predicting milk fat composition. Milk fat composition data based on gas chromatography and milk IR spectra were available for 1,456 Dutch Holstein Friesian cows. In addition, genotypes for the diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1) K232A and stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) A293V polymorphisms and a SNP located in an intron of the fatty acid synthase (FASN) gene were available. Adding SCD1 genotypes to the milk IR spectra resulted in a considerable improvement of the prediction accuracy for the unsaturated fatty acids C10:1, C12:1, C14:1 cis-9, and C16:1 cis-9 and their corresponding unsaturation indices. Adding DGAT1 genotypes to the milk IR spectra resulted in an improvement of the prediction accuracy for C16:1 cis-9 and C16 index. Adding genotypes of the FASN SNP to the IR spectra did not improve prediction of milk fat composition. This study demonstrated the potential of combining milk IR spectra with genotypic information from 3 polymorphisms to predict milk fat composition. We hypothesize that prediction accuracy of milk fat composition can be further improved by combining milk IR spectra with genomic breeding values.
- milk fat composition
- milk infrared spectroscopy