Effect of the DGAT1 K232A polymorphism on milk-fat composition of dairy cows

A. Schennink, M.H.P.W. Visker, H. Bovenhuis, J.J. van der Poel, J.A.M. van Arendonk

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


A Lys/Ala polymorphism in diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1) is known to have a large effect on milk-fat percentage in dairy cows; it explains half of the genetic variation in milk-fat percentage. However, its effect on milk-fat composition has not been tested. We measured the fat composition of milk samples in 1,933 Dutch Holstein Friesian cows in their first lactation and genotyped the cows for the DGAT1 polymorphism. Statistical analysis confirmed the large effect of the DGAT1 polymorphism on milk-fat percentage: cows with the KK genotype have a milk-fat percentage of 5.0%, whereas cows with the AA genotype have a milk-fat percentage of 4.0%. The results revealed that this polymorphism has a clear influence on milk-fat composition as well. The A allele of DGAT1 is associated with less saturated fat; 7% smaller fraction of C16:0; and 7%, 10% and 13% larger fractions of C14:0, unsaturated C18, and CLAcis9, trans11. The polymorphism explains substantial proportions of the genetic variance: 53% for unsaturated C18, 40% for C16:0, 23% for C14:0 and 16% for CLAcis9, trans11. The results show that the DGAT1 polymorphism can be used as a marker in selective breeding to improve dairy quality
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventPlant and Animal Genome XVI -
Duration: 12 Jan 200816 Jan 2008


ConferencePlant and Animal Genome XVI


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