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A relationship between somatic cell count, polymorphic form of β 4-defensin and susceptibility of cow milk fat to lipolysis

Nina Strzałkowska
Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Jastrzębiec, 05-552 Magdalenka, Poland
Abstract :
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of somatic cell count and the polymorphic form of
4-defensin on the concentration of free fatty acids (FFA) and physico-chemical characteristics of
cow’s milk. The study was carried out on 120 Polish Holstein-Friesian Black and White dairy cows.
The animals were maintained in a loose barn and fed with the TMR system according to the INRA
norm. The animals were divided into groups according to their polymorphic form of the defensin
4 gene: 1
– CT (def-1); 2
– CC (def-2) and into two groups in terms of their somatic cell count:
(SCC-1) and 2
– 3
– 6
(SCC-2) cell/ml. Milk samples were collected once a
month during the whole lactation. Chemical composition and some physico-chemical parameters
of milk were determined by automated infrared analysis with a Milkoscan FT2 instrument. SCC
were evaluated using BactoCaunt IBCm. A relationship was found between polymorphic forms
of the defensin gene and the level of FFA in milk directly after milking (CT<CC). The chemical
composition of milk and its physicochemical parameters differed significantly between the identified
genetic variants of defensin
4: fat (CT<CC), total protein (CT<CC), casein (CT<CC), total solids
(CT<CC) and solids-non-fat (CT<CC). Cows from the SCC-1 group produced milk characterised
not only by lower susceptibility to lipolysis, but also a higher concentration of the basic components.
High positive correlations were found between the basic milk parameters (with the exception of
lactose) and the FFA concentration. The results indicate that fat lipolysis of cows’ milk is determined
both by the somatic cell count and by the polymorphic form of
Keywords :
ow / free fatty acids / milk / somatic cell count / β 4-defensin

Date Deposited : 02 Apr 2015 13:46

Last Modified : 02 Apr 2015 13:46

Official URL:

Volume 32, Number 4, - 2014

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