Genomic analysis of the origins of extant casein variation in goats

D. Guan, E. Mármol-Sánchez, T. F. Cardoso, X. Such, V. Landi, N. R. Tawari, M. Amills

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4 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 American Dairy Science Association The variation in the casein genes has a major impact on the milk composition of goats. Even though many casein polymorphisms have been identified so far, we do not know yet whether they are evolutionarily ancient (i.e., they existed before domestication) or young (i.e., they emerged after domestication). Herewith, we identified casein polymorphisms in a data set of 106 caprine whole-genome sequences corresponding to bezoars (Capra aegagrus, the ancestor of domestic goats) and 4 domestic goat (Capra hircus) populations from Europe, Africa, the Far East, and the Near East. Domestic and wild goat populations shared a substantial number of casein SNP, from 36.1% (CSN2) to 55.1% (CSN1S2). The comparison of casein variation among bezoars and the 4 domestic goat populations demonstrated that more than 50% of the casein SNP are shared by 2 or more populations, and 18 to 44% are shared by all populations. Moreover, the majority of casein alleles reported in domestic goats also segregate in the bezoar, including several alleles displaying significant associations with milk composition (e.g., the A/B alleles of the CSN1S1 and CSN3 genes, the A allele of the CSN2 gene). We conclude that much of the current diversity of the caprine casein genes comes from ancient standing variation segregating in the ancestor of modern domestic goats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5230-5241
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • domestication
  • next-generation sequencing
  • single nucleotide polymorphism
  • standing variation


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