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J Appl Genet. 2005;46(2):179-85.

Nucleotide sequence polymorphism within exon 4 of the bovine prolactin gene and its associations with milk performance traits.

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  • 1Department of Animal Genetics, University of Warmia and Mazury, M. Oczapowskiego 5, 10-718 Olsztyn, Poland.


Prolactin plays an important regulatory function in mammary gland development, milk secretion, and expression of milk protein genes. Hence the PRL gene is a potential quantitative trait locus and genetic marker of production traits in dairy cattle. We analysed the sequence of the PRL gene to investigate whether mutations in this sequence might be responsible for quantitative variations in milk yield and composition. Using SSCP and direct sequencing, we detected six single-nucleotide polymorphisms within a 294-bp prolactin gene fragment involving exon 4. All detected mutations were silent with respect to the amino acid sequence of the protein. PCR-RFLP genotyping of SNP 8398 R (RsaI) was used to assess allele frequencies in 186 Black-and-White cows (0.113 and 0.887 for A and G, respectively) and in 138 Jersey cows (0.706 and 0.294 for A and G, respectively). Black-and-White cows with genotype AG showed the highest milk yield, while cows with genotype GG showed the highest fat content.

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