Marine Mammal Science (2018)

DOI: 10.1111/mms.12508


…Milk protein composition likely varies between lactation stages in the finless porpoise (Zeng et al. 2017). Zeng et al. (2017) indicate that crude protein concentration is much higher in colostrum (milk secreted during the last few days of pregnancy and in the first few days after birth) than in mature milk, and suggest that many immunoglobulins might be transferred to the offspring in colostrum. In contrast, Harms (1993) detected only trace amounts of immunoglobulins in the colostrum of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus L.). Changes in milk protein composition during the lactation process in cetaceans remain to be determined.

The proteomic approach has been increasingly applied to protein composition analyses of domestic animal milk (O’Donnell et al. 2004, Bendixen et al. 2011, Senda et al. 2011). This technique has been shown to provide simultaneous, highresolution analysis of proteins from complex mixtures. In the present study, we used a proteomic approach to analyze the protein composition of Yangtze finless porpoise milk and to understand the functions of the proteins present. The specific objectives were to (1) describe the protein composition of both premature and mature milk and (2) understand the primary functions of these proteins…