Biochemical Genetics

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 9–20 | Cite as

A study of genetic polymorphisms of milk β-lactoglobulin, αS1-casein, β-casein, and κ-casein in five dairy breeds

  • Francis H. F. Li
  • Stanley N. Gaunt


Gene frequencies of the milk β-lactoglobulin, αS1-casein, β-casein, and κ-casein loci have been estimated from 1663 cows of five dairy breeds. Departure from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was found only in the κ-casein system in Jerseys. However, chance alone could have accounted for this single significant finding. Results of pairwise comparisons among the five breeds of allele frequencies at these milk protein loci indicate that of the 40 possible tests, only six comparisons are not significant at the 5% probability level. It would appear that these breeds are characterizable in terms of the gene frequencies of these milk protein loci. Nonindependent assortment of genotypes among these milk protein loci was also studied. The closely linked casein loci were not independent in almost all the breeds where tests could be carried out. The only exception was between the αS1-casein and κ-casein loci in Holsteins. β-Lactoglobulin was independent of the casein loci in all breeds except Brown Swiss, where it was found to be significantly associated with κ-casein. Close linkage is proposed as an important factor for maintaining the observed milk protein polymorphisms.


Allele Frequency Pairwise Comparison Genetic Polymorphism Significant Finding Probability Level 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis H. F. Li
    • 1
  • Stanley N. Gaunt
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Human GeneticsUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary and Animal ScienceUniversity of Massachusetts at AmherstAmherst

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