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Demographic pattern of A1/A2 beta casein variants indicates conservation of A2 type haplotype across native cattle breeds (Bos indicus) of India

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Genetic variations of the beta casein gene hold importance because of their probable association with human health. Comparative sequence analysis of β–casein gene across Indian native, crossbred and exotic breeds in India revealed 15 SNPs and 4 INDELs corresponding to 14 haplotypes. The frequency of A2 type haplotype was maximum (0.941) across all Indian native breeds. Among the 15 variants reported for taurine breeds, only three (A1, A2 and B) were observed in analysed populations. Allelic profiling of A1/A2 β–casein variants in ~ 4000 animals belonging to three cattle types and breeding bulls also revealed the predominance of A2 allele (0.95) in Indian cattle. The high proportion of A2 allele/haplotype indicates that Indian native cattle are the best suited to meet the demands for A2 milk globally. However, a higher percentage of heterozygous genotype (A1A2) in breeding bulls warrants the need to screen sire lines so as to drift the herd towards A2.

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The authors duly acknowledge the financial support received from Indian Council of Agricultural Research- National Agricultural Science Fund (ICAR-NASF), ICAR, Govt. of India (Grant number NASF/ABA-5012/2015–16).

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MS and MM: conceived the study, analysed the data, and wrote the paper; SS, VD, PK, AK and GB: conducted the experiments; VS and RSK: helped in manuscript drafting. MM: helped in the collection of blood samples across the country. MS: received the grant to conduct this study. All authors reviewed the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Monika Sodhi.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Mukesh, M., Swami, S., Bhakhri, G. et al. Demographic pattern of A1/A2 beta casein variants indicates conservation of A2 type haplotype across native cattle breeds (Bos indicus) of India. 3 Biotech 12, 167 (2022).

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