The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of genetic polymorphism of kappa-casein, breed and seasonality on the physicochemical characteristics, composition and stability of milk in commercial dairy herds. A total of 879 milk and blood samples were collected from 603 Holstein and 276 Girolando cows, obtained during rainy and dry seasons. Milk samples were analyzed to determine the physicochemical characteristics, composition and ethanol stability, while blood samples were subjected to polymerase chain reaction to identify the kappa-casein genotype. The frequencies of genotypes AA, AB and BB of k-casein were respectively, 66.83, 31.84 and 1.33% for Holstein, and 71.38, 27.90 and 0.72% for the Girolando cows, respectively. The A allele was more frequent than the B allele, both for Holstein (0.827 and 0.173) and Girolando cows (0.853 and 0.147), respectively. Cows of AB and BB genotypes showed a higher milk fat content compared to the AA genotype. There was an interaction between breed and seasonality on the concentration of milk urea with higher values for Holstein and Girolando cows in the rainy and dry season, respectively. The levels of lactose, total solids, crude protein, true protein, casein and the casein:true protein ratio were higher during the dry season, while during the rainy season, the somatic cell count and milk urea concentration were higher. There was no association between milk stability and k-casein genotypes, but Holstein cows showed higher milk stability than Girolando cows, and milk was more stable during the rainy season than during the dry season.
crioscopy; dairy cow; ethanol stability test; genetic variant; polymerase chain reaction; titratable acidity