DNA Sequence Variants and Protein Haplotypes of Casein Genes in German Black Pied Cattle (DSN)

Saskia Meier, Paula Korkuć, Danny Arends, Gudrun A. Brockmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Casein proteins were repeatedly examined for protein polymorphisms and frequencies in diverse cattle breeds. The occurrence of casein variants in Holstein Friesian, the leading dairy breed worldwide, is well known. The frequencies of different casein variants in Holstein are likely affected by selection for high milk yield. Compared to Holstein, only little is known about casein variants and their frequencies in German Black Pied cattle (“Deutsches Schwarzbuntes Niederungsrind,” DSN). The DSN population was a main genetic contributor to the current high-yielding Holstein population. The goal of this study was to investigate casein (protein) variants and casein haplotypes in DSN based on the DNA sequence level and to compare these with data from Holstein and other breeds. In the investigated DSN population, we found no variation in the alpha-casein genes CSN1S1 and CSN1S2 and detected only the CSN1S1*B and CSN1S2*A protein variants. For CSN2 and CSN3 genes, non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms leading to three different β and κ protein variants were found, respectively. For β-casein protein variants A1, A2, and I were detected, with CSN2*A1 (82.7%) showing the highest frequency. For κ-casein protein variants A, B, and E were detected in DSN, with the highest frequency of CSN3*A (83.3%). Accordingly, the casein protein haplotype CSN1S1*B-CSN2*A1-CSN1S2*A-CSN3*A (order of genes on BTA6) is the most frequent haplotype in DSN cattle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1129
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


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