Publications: Peer-reviewed journal articles (by staff)

Increased gene dosage for β- and κ-casein in transgenic cattle improves milk composition through complex effects

9 December, 2016
CITATION

Laible G, Smolenski G, Wheeler TT and Brophy B 2016. Increased gene dosage for β- and κ-casein in transgenic cattle improves milk composition through complex effects.  Scientific Reports, In Press.

DOI link here.

ABSTRACT

We have previously generated transgenic cattle with additional copies of bovine β- and κ casein genes. An initial characterisation of milk produced with a hormonally induced lactation from these transgenic cows showed an altered milk composition with elevated β-casein levels and twofold increased κ-casein content. Here we report the first in-depth characterisation of the composition of the enriched casein milk that was produced through a natural lactation. We have analyzed milk from the high expressing transgenic line TG3 for milk composition at early, peak, mid and late lactation. The introduction of additional β- and κ-casein genes resulted in the expected expression of the transgene derived proteins and an associated reduction in the size of the casein micelles. Expression of the transgenes was associated with complex changes in the expression levels of other milk proteins. Two other major milk components were affected, namely fat and micronutrients. In addition, the sialic acid content of the milk was increased. In contrast, the level of lactose remained unchanged. This novel milk with its substantially altered composition will provide insights into the regulatory processes synchronizing the synthesis and assembly of milk components, as well as production of potentially healthier milk with improved dairy processing characteristics.