The genetic background of bovine milk fat composition unraveled

Milk fat is a nutritious source of energy, fat-soluble vitamins, bioactive lipids, and fatty acid beneficial for human health, while it also contains fatty acids that are claimed to have unfavorable effects on human health. The milk fat composition differs between cows, which is partly due to genetics. Although there is knowledge about enzymes involved in milk fat synthesis the actual genes causing differences in milk fat composition between cows are largely unknown.

Promovendus AC (Aniek) Bouwman PhD
Promotor JAM (Johan) van Arendonk
Copromotor H (Henk) Bovenhuis MHPW (Marleen) Visker
Organisatie Wageningen University, Wageningen Livestock Research

vr 16 mei 2014 16:00 tot 17:30

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen

In this thesis, 50,000 DNA markers along the whole genome of 2,000 Holstein Friesian cows were screened for associations with individual bovine milk fatty acids. This resulted in the confirmation and refinement of DNA regions involved in milk fat composition. Moreover, new regions and candidate genes were identified.

Aniek Bouwman
Linkage disequilibrium is beneficial for the detection of quantitative trait loci but detrimental for its fine-mapping.
Aniek Bouwman

Identification of DNA regions, and preferably individual genes, responsible for genetic variation in bovine milk fat composition enhances the understanding of biological pathways involved in fatty acid synthesis, which is useful for approaches aimed at changing the fatty acid composition of dairy products. 

Aniek Bouwman
Predictions of complex human disease risks from genome tests are currently not accurate enough to serve public health.
Aniek Bouwman