The mammary gland in domestic ruminants: A systems biology perspective

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  • Ana M Ferreira, Instituto de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais Mediterrânicas (ICAAM), Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal; BCV Laboratory, Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica/Universidade Nova de Lisboa (ITQB/UNL), Oeiras, Portugal
  • Stine Lønnerup Bislev, Denmark
  • Emøke Bendixen
  • André M Almeida, Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical (IICT) & CIISA — Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação em Sanidade Animal, CVZ — Centro de Veterinária e Zootecnia, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Lisboa, Portugal
Milk and dairy products are central elements in the human diet. It is estimated that 108kg of milk per year are consumed per person worldwide. Therefore, dairy production represents a relevant fraction of the economies of many countries, being cattle, sheep, goat, water buffalo, and other ruminants the main species used worldwide. An adequate management of dairy farming cannot be achieved without the knowledge on the biological mechanisms behind lactation in ruminants. Thus, understanding the morphology, development and regulation of the mammary gland in health, disease and production is crucial. Presently, innovative and high-throughput technologies such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics allow a much broader and detailed knowledge on such issues. Additionally, the application of a systems biology approach to animal science is vastly growing, as new advances in one field of specialization or animal species lead to new lines of research in other areas or/and are expanded to other species. This article addresses how modern research approaches may help us understand long-known issues in mammary development, lactation biology and dairy production.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Proteomics
Pages (from-to)110-123
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2013

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