Changes in milk carbohydrates during lactation in the common brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula (Marsupialia: Phalangeridae).

Milk samples (186) were obtained at various stages of lactation from 27 common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula). Qualitative and quantitative changes in the milk carbohydrates during early and mid-lactation were similar to those previously seen in other marsupials; the principal carbohydrate was lactose in early lactation and higher oligosaccharides in mid-lactation. Hexose concn. reached a peak during mid-lactation. However, the late-lactation milk was unusual in that the carbohydrate was mainly lactose and its concn. remained relatively high (3.5-5.5%). In contrast to earlier findings on the milk of the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii), little or no nucleotide pyrophosphatase, beta-galactosidase and alkaline phosphatase activities were detected in late lactation.

Author E. A. Crisp, P. E. Cowan and M. Messer
Year 1989
Secondary title Reproduction, Fertility and Development
Volume 1
Number 4
Pages 309-314