DGAT1 polymorphism in Bos indicus and Bos taurus cattle breeds

Bernhard Kaupe, Andreas Winter, Ruedi Fries, Georg Erhardt

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105 Scopus citations


As a result of multiple QTL-mapping projects in recent years, a quantitative trait locus for milk fat percentage and milk yield has been described on BTA14. Recent reports name the acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT1) gene on BTA14 as a potential candidate gene, with a nonconservative substitution of lysine by alanine (K232A) producing a major effect on milk composition and yield. DGAT1K appears to be the ancestral allele and the K232A substitution probably occurred after the divergence of the Bos indicus and Bos taurus lineages. These findings prompted us to genotype 1748 DNA samples of 38 different Bos taurus and Bos indicus cattle breeds from 13 countries on five continents (Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and South America), to examine the occurrence of the DGAT1 polymorphism and characterize the K232A substitution in cattle breeds of different origins and selected for different purposes (e.g., beef, dairy and dual purpose). Calculating pairwise FST values for pooled subpopulations showed least divergence for Bos indicus breeds with high milk fat percentage. Fixation of DGAT1A was found in some Bos taurus breeds and fixation of DGAT1K in one Bos indicus breed. Breeds of no known organized breeding background from the Near East domestication centre of Bos taurus and taurine African N'Dama cattle were found to possess intermediate frequencies of DGAT1K. While beef breeds tended to harbour higher DGAT1A levels, dairy cattle showed everything from very low levels of DGAT1K to unexpectedly high frequencies of this allele.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-187
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dairy Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Allele frequencies
  • Bovine diversity
  • Cattle breeds
  • DGAT1


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