Beta-lactoglobulin

Quick Summary

Beta-lactoglobulin is the major whey protein gene. Two common variants, A and B, are associated with different concentrations of beta-lactoglobulin protein in cow's milk.

Red and white cow in a field with milk jug in foregroundPhenotype: The gene underlying the production of beta-lactoglobulin protein in cow's milk shows polymorphisms which affect the amount of protein produced. Higher levels of beta-lactoglobulin are associated with increased milk yield and whey protein content, and low levels are associated with increased casein and fat content and are favorable for cheese production.

Variants:

  • A = associated with higher relative content of beta-lactoglobulin
  • B = associated with lower relative content of beta-lactoglobulin

Breeds appropriate for testing: Many dairy breeds

Explanation of Results:

  • Cows with A/A genotype will produce higher amounts of beta-lactoglobulin.
  • Cows with A/B genotype will produce intermediate amounts of beta-lactoglobulin.
  • Cows with B/B genotype will produce low amounts of beta-lactoglobulin.
Price

$25 one test per animal

Panels Available
Additional Details

Cow's milk is comprised of six main proteins: four types of casein (including beta-casein and kappa-casein) and two types of whey protein (beta-lactoglobulin and alpha‐lactalbumin). Beta-lactoglobulin protein makes up the biggest proportion of the two proteins found in whey. The gene that produces beta-lactoglobulin protein, beta-lactoglobulin (β‐LG), is therefore the major whey protein gene. Researchers have identified several variants of the β‐LG gene that affect the amount of protein produced.

This test identifies the two most common variants of the β‐LG gene, A and B. The A variant is associated with increased milk yield and whey protein content and higher relative concentration of beta-lactoglobulin compared to the B variant. The B variant is associated with increased casein and fat content and is favorable for cheese production.

 

Other dairy milk protein tests offered by the VGL:

Turnaround Time
5-10 business days
Type of Sample

Species

Type of Test

References

Ng-Kwai-Hang, K.F., & Kim, S. (1996). Different amounts of β-lactoglobulin A and B in milk from heterozygous AB cows. International Dairy Journal, 6(7), 689-695. doi: 10.1016/0958-6946(95)00069-0

Farrell, H.M., Jiménez‐Flores, R., Bleck ,G.T., Brown, E.M., Butler, J.E., Creamer, L.K., Hicks, C.L., Hollar, C.M., Ng‐Kwai‐Hang, K.F. & Swaisgood, H.E. (2004). Nomenclature of the proteins of cows’ milk – sixth revision. Journal of Dairy Science, 87(6), 1641–1674. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(04)73319-6

Ganai, N.A., Bovenhuis, H., van Arendonk, J.A., & Visker, M.H. (2009). Novel polymorphisms in the bovine beta-lactoglobulin gene and their effects on beta-lactoglobulin protein concentration in milk. Animal Genetics, 40(2), 127-133. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2008.01806.x