About this Research Topic
Genetic factors have a marked influence on production, composition, and physico-chemical properties of milk. Differences are relevant among mammal species and, even within the same species, there are also significant differences at breed, population, and individual levels.
Currently, there is a discernible interest towards non-bovine milk, as in the case of donkey milk whose chemical composition is very similar to human milk and makes it useful for infant nutrition. Within bovine species, genetic selection has led to a dramatic increase in milk yield. In fact, most milk is produced by highly selected cattle breeds that have replaced most autochthonous breeds in the last 70 years, leading to a general reduction of genetic resources. However, these local breeds play a pivotal role in preserving the social, economic, and ecological structure of marginal areas where selected breeds cannot be reared efficiently. When considering single animals, alleles affecting the processing properties of milk have been characterized in bovine, caprine and ovine species.
This Research Topic includes studies focused on the influence of genetic factors (at species, breed, and individual levels) on the nutritional properties of milk and its aptitude to be processed into cheese.
Keywords: genetic, nutritional, milk
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