Water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) only have A2A2 genotype for beta-casein


Beta-casein is a milk protein that has two variants: A1 and A2. Some individuals have difficulties digesting beta-casein A1, which can cause gastrointestinal disorders. A2 milk has emerged as an alternative. This milk only contains beta-casein A2 and is obtained from females carrying the A2A2 genotype of the gene. In cattle, allele and genotype frequencies vary according to breed and marker-assisted selection is performed to obtain A2A2 animals and the consequent production of A2 milk that is easier to digest. This study aimed to evaluate the alleles of beta-casein in buffaloes. A total of 657 buffaloes of four different breeds were genotyped and all animals carried the A2A2 genotype, i.e., allele A1 does not exist in the buffalo species. Thus, all milk products of buffaloes are naturally A2. This result adds value to products derived from buffalo milk.

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Data availability

DNA sequences were available at GenBank website under accession numbers: MN996234, MN996235, MN996236, and MN996237.


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The authors are grateful to the producers Mariel Fujissawa, Renato Amaral, Antônio Peixoto, Urbano Souza Filho, and Jonas Assumpção for allowing collection of the biological material. We thank Embrapa for providing part of the DNA samples used and Francisco Veloso for kindly providing the genotypes of the animals of his herd.


We thank CNPq for financial support (grant 400227/2016-9) and Fapesb for the fellowship granted to the first author.

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Correspondence to Gregório Miguel Ferreira de Camargo.

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de Oliveira, L.S.M., Alves, J.S., Bastos, M.S. et al. Water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) only have A2A2 genotype for beta-casein. Trop Anim Health Prod 53, 145 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-021-02591-9

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  • Beta-casein
  • SNP
  • A1 allele
  • Non-bovine species