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Influence of fresh forage-based diets and alfaS1-casein (CSN1S1) genotype on nutrient intake and productive, metabolic, and hormonal responses in milking goats

  • Autori: Bonanno, A; Di Grigoli, A; Di Trana, A; Di Gregorio, P; Tornambè, G; Bellina, V; Claps, S; Maggio, G; Todaro, M
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2013
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


Polymorphism at the αS1-casein locus (CSN1S1) in goats influences several milk production traits. Milk from goats carrying strong alleles, which are associated with high αS1-casein (αS1-CN) synthesis, has higher fat and casein contents, longer coagulation time and higher curd firmness than milk from goats with weak alleles linked to low αS1-CN content. Nutrition also affects these milk properties; therefore, it is important to better understand the interaction between dietary characteristics and the CSN1S1 genotype in goats. This study aimed to investigate the effect of fresh forage based diet or energy supplement on feeding behavior, milk production, and metabolic and hormonal parameters of Girgentana goats with different genotypes at CSN1S1 loci. From a group of goats genotyped by PCR at the DNA level, 12 were selected because they had the same genotype for αS2-CN, β-CN, and κ-CN but a different genotype for αS1-CN: 6 were homozygous for strong alleles at the CSN1S1 loci (AA) and 6 were heterozygous for a weak allele (AF). Goats of each genotype were allocated to 3 subgroups and fed 3 diets ad libitum in a 3 × 3 Latin square design. The diets were sulla (Hedysarum coronarium L.) fresh forage, sulla fresh forage plus 800 g/d of barley meal (SFB), and mixed hay plus 800 g/d of barley meal (MHB). Diet had a stronger effect than CSN1S1 genotype. The SFB diet led to the highest energy intake, dry matter (DM) digestibility, and milk yield. The fresh forage diets (SFF and SFB) increased DM and crude protein (CP) intake, CP digestibility, and milk CN compared with the MHB diet. The diets supplemented with energy (SFB, MHB) reduced milk fat and urea, improved CP utilization for casein synthesis, and limited body fat mobilization, in accordance with a lower level of nonesterified fatty acids and higher levels of glucose and IGF-1. With regard to CSN1S1 genotype, AA goats showed higher CP digestibility and lower free thyroxine hormone and cholesterol levels than AF goats. Significant diet × genotype interactions indicated how AA goats, compared with AF goats, showed higher DM digestibility and milk yield when fed the SFB diet, which had more energy. A reduction in free triiodothyronine hormone occurred in AF goats fed the MHB diet, whereas no differences were observed in AA goats. These results demonstrate how goats with a higher capacity for αS1-CN synthesis exhibit more efficient energy and protein utilization, evident at the digestive level, and better productive responses to high-nutrition diets.