Effects of DGAT1 on milk performance in Sudanese Butana × Holstein crossbred cattle

Salma Elzaki, Paula Korkuć, Danny Arends, Monika Reissmann, Gudrun A. Brockmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


The improvement of milk production of indigenous Sudanese cattle such as Bos indicus Butana and its cross with Holstein is a major goal of the Sudanese government to ensure sufficient healthy nutrition in the country. In this study, we investigated the K232A polymorphism of diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT1), a well-known modulator of milk production in other breeds. We determined allele frequencies and the allele effects on milk production. Therefore, 93 purebred Butana and 203 Butana × Holstein crossbred cattle were genotyped using competitive allele-specific PCR assays. Association analysis was performed using a linear mixed model in R. In purebred Butana cattle, the lysine DGAT1 protein variant K232, which is found to be associated with higher fat and protein contents, as well as higher fat yield was highly frequent at 0.929, while its frequency in Butana × Holstein crossbred cattle was 0.394. Significant effects were found on milk yield (P = 7.6 × 10−20), fat yield (P = 2.2 × 10−17), protein yield (P = 2.0 × 10−19) and lactose yield (P = 4.0 × 10−18) in crossbred cattle. As expected, the protein variant K232 was disadvantageous since it was decreasing milk, protein, and lactose yields by 1.741 kg, 0.063 kg and 0.084 kg, respectively. No significant effects were found for milk fat, protein, and lactose contents. The high frequency of the lysine DGAT1 protein variant K232 in Butana cattle could contribute to their high milk fat content in combination with low milk yield. In Butana × Holstein crossbred cattle, the DGAT1 marker can be used for effective selection and thus genetic improvement of milk production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number142
Number of pages6
JournalTropical Animal Health and Production
Issue number2
Early online date25 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


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