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Bovine Somatotropin: A Growth Hormone

BY: Amna Adnan | Category: Genetics | Submitted: 2010-06-10 06:01:44
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Article Summary: "Bovine somatotropin is a growth hormone which is present in the pituitary glands of the animal. This hormone increases the production of the milk in the animal..."


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Bovine somatotropin is a growth hormone composed of proteins. It is produced in the cattle for example cow or buffalo. Recombinant DNA technology has made it possible to synthesize the bovine somatotropin hormone. This hormone is present in the milk of the cattle. The chemical substances which are secreted in our body are called as hormones. They occur in the body naturally and help the body perform various functions. Bovine somatotropin hormones are produced from the pituitary glands of the animal. These glands are placed at the base of the brain. The bovine somatotropin is a hormone which enhances the growth and development of the organism.

In 1930, it was discovered that bovine somatotropin when injected in the mammary glands of the animals, it increases the yield of the milk of the animal. Though this hormone could be extracted from the pituitary gland of the animal, but the method of extracting the hormone was very expensive. But scientists did not lose hope and in 1970, they succeeded in developing bovine somatotropin in the laboratory in 1970. Biotechnology has made possible to develop techniques of developing bovine somatotropin. DNA has played the major role in its synthesis.
Method of Developing bST:-

First, the gene of interest which codes information for the bovine somatotropin is extracted from the cattle. After the extraction, the hormone is inserted into a bacterium called E.coli. E.coli is specie of bacteria whose habitat is human intestine or animal intestines. The bovine somatotropin is grown in these bacteria under the special environment of the laboratory. When the required amount of the hormone is produced, it is taken out of the bacterium and is inserted into the mammary glands of the cattle for the enhancement of milk production. Recombinant DNA technology is used in the sense that the growth hormone moved from the pituitary gland to the single cell bacterium.

If the hormone is inserted into the cattle regularly, it affects efficiently just like the human insulin. Bovine somatotropin is composed of proteins and when it enters the cattle, the proteins breaks down into small amino acids and spreads in the mammary glands. It is still not known that how the milk production increases if the genetically modified hormone is inserted in the cattle. One theory is that, when this hormone enters the blood stream, it increases the blood flow towards the mammary glands. It increases the growth of nutrients which are necessary for the production of the milk. This is how milk is produced. It is better if the hormone is inserted in the cattle when the animal produces milk in large quantity rather than being late.

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