Genetic Variation in Vitamin B-12 Content of Bovine Milk and Its Association with SNP along the Bovine Genome

M.J.M. Rutten, A.C. Bouwman, R.C. Sprong, J.A.M. van Arendonk, M.H.P.W. Visker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Vitamin B-12 (also called cobalamin) is essential for human health and current intake levels of vitamin B-12 are considered to be too low. Natural enrichment of the vitamin B-12 content in milk, an important dietary source of vitamin B-12, may help to increase vitamin B-12 intake. Natural enrichment of the milk vitamin B-12 content could be achieved through genetic selection, provided there is genetic variation between cows with respect to the vitamin B-12 content in their milk. A substantial amount of genetic variation in vitamin B-12 content was detected among raw milk samples of 544 first-lactation Dutch Holstein Friesian cows. The presence of genetic variation between animals in vitamin B-12 content in milk indicates that the genotype of the cow affects the amount of vitamin B-12 that ends up in her milk and, consequently, that the average milk vitamin B-12 content of the cow population can be increased by genetic selection. A genome-wide association study revealed significant association between 68 SNP and vitamin B-12 content in raw milk of 487 first-lactation Dutch Holstein Friesian cows. This knowledge facilitates genetic selection for milk vitamin B-12 content. It also contributes to the understanding of the biological mechanism responsible for the observed genetic variation in vitamin B-12 content in milk. None of the 68 significantly associated SNP were in or near known candidate genes involved in transport of vitamin B-12 through the gastrointestinal tract, uptake by ileum epithelial cells, export from ileal cells, transport through the blood, uptake from the blood, intracellular processing, or reabsorption by the kidneys. Probably, associations relate to genes involved in alternative pathways of well-studied processes or to genes involved in less well-studied processes such as ruminal production of vitamin B-12 or secretion of vitamin B-12 by the mammary gland
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere62382
Number of pages6
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • homocysteine
  • population
  • lactation
  • binding
  • cobalt
  • folate
  • cells
  • cows
  • fat

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