Milk yield and composition are of great economic importance for the dairy goat industry. The identification of genes associated with phenotypic differences for these traits could allow for the implementation of gene-assisted selection programs in goats. Associations between polymorphisms at 3 candidate genes and milk production traits in Alpine goats farmed in Italy were investigated in the present research. Considered genes were acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase α (<i>ACACA</i>), the major regulatory enzyme of fatty acid biosynthesis; stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase (<i>SCD</i>), involved in the biosynthesis of monounsaturated fatty acids in the mammary gland; and lipoprotein lipase (<i>LPL</i>), which plays a central role in plasma triglyceride metabolism. An approach somewhat similar to the granddaughter design for detecting quantitative trait loci in dairy cattle was followed. Effects of genotypes of a sample of 59 Alpine bucks on phenotypes of their 946 daughters raised in 75 flocks were investigated. Data comprised 13,331 daily records for milk yields (L/d), fat and protein yields (kg/d), and fat and protein contents (%) of 2,200 lactations. Population genetics parameters were calculated and associations between milk production traits and 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) at the 3 genes were tested. Two markers at the <i>ACACA</i>, 1 for the <i>SCD</i> and 1 at the <i>LPL locus</i>, deviated significantly from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, with an observed heterozygosity lower than expected. Flock, age of the goat, kidding season, and stage of lactation affected all traits considered, except fat percentage. Three SNP were found to be significantly associated with milk production traits. The SNP located on the <i>ACACA</i> gene showed an effect on milk yield, with daughters of TT bucks having an average test-day milk yield of about 0.3 to 0.25 L/d lower than the other 2 genotypes. The marker on the <i>LPL locus</i> was highly associated with milk yield, with the largest values for CC daughters (about 0.50 L more than GG). The TGT deletion located on the untranslated region of the <i>SCD</i> gene showed significant effects on average milk and protein yields. The homozygote-deleted genotype had values about 0.5 L/d and 16 g/d lower for milk and protein daily yield, respectively, compared with the TGT/TGT genotype. Differences between genotypes were quite constant across most of the lactation. Associations found in the present study, which should be tested in a larger sample, especially for those markers that show rare genotypes, may offer useful indications for the genetic improvement of dairy traits in goats
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