Evolution of Pinnipedia lactation strategies: a potential role for α-lactalbumin?

Reich, Coralie and Arnould, John 2007, Evolution of Pinnipedia lactation strategies: a potential role for α-lactalbumin?, Biology letters, vol. 3, no. 5, pp. 546-549.

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Title Evolution of Pinnipedia lactation strategies: a potential role for α-lactalbumin?
Author(s) Reich, Coralie
Arnould, John
Journal name Biology letters
Volume number 3
Issue number 5
Start page 546
End page 549
Publisher The Royal Society
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2007-10-22
ISSN 1744-9561
1744-957X
Keyword(s) α-lactalbumin
lactose
lactation
pinnipeds
Summary Despite the considerable variation in milk composition found among mammals, a constituent common across all groups is lactose, the main sugar and osmole in most eutherians milk. Exceptions to this are the families Otariidae (fur seals and sea lions) and Odobenidae (walruses), where lactose has not been detected. We investigated the molecular basis for this by cloning α-lactalbumin, the modifier protein of the lactose synthase complex. A mutation was observed which, in addition to preventing lactose production, may enable otariids to maintain lactation despite the extremely long inter-suckling intervals during the mother's time at sea foraging (more than 23 days in some species).
Language eng
Field of Research 060801 Animal Behaviour
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, The Royal Society
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30007306

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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