Hot topic: Using a stearoyl-CoA desaturase transgene to alter milk fatty acid composition

W. A. Reh, E. A. Maga, N. M B Collette, A. Moyer, J. S. Conrad-Brink, S. J. Taylor, E. J. DePeters, S. Oppenheim, Joan D Rowe, Robert Bondurant, G. B. Anderson, J. D. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Stearoyl-CoA desaturase enzyme converts specific medium- and long-chain saturated fatty acids to their monounsaturated form. Transgenic goats expressing a bovine β-lactoglobulin promoter-rat stearoyl-CoA desaturase cDNA construct in mammary gland epithelial cells were produced by pronuclear microinjection. The fatty acid composition of milk from 4 female transgenic founders was analyzed on d 7, 14, and 30 of their first lactation. In 2 animals, the expression of the transgene changed the overall fatty acid composition of the resulting milk fat to a less saturated and more monounsaturated fatty acid profile at d 7 of lactation; however, this effect diminished by d 30. In addition, one animal had an increased proportion of the rumen-derived monounsaturated fatty acid C18:1 trans11 converted by stearoyl-CoA desaturase to the conjugated linoleic acid isomer C18:2 cis9 trans11. Milk that has higher proportions of monounsaturated fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid may have benefits for human cardiovascular health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3510-3514
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Conjugated linoleic acid
  • Milk fat
  • Stearoyl-CoA desaturase
  • Transgenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Food Science


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