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Type: Journal article
Title: Genetic parameters for carcass and meat quality traits and their relationships to liveweight and wool production in hogget Merino rams
Author: Greeff, J.
Safari, E.
Fogarty, N.
Hopkins, D.
Brien, F.
Atkins, K.
Mortimer, S.
Van Der Werf, J.
Citation: Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics, 2008; 125(3):205-215
Publisher: Blackwell Wissenschafts-Verlag
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 0931-2668
Statement of
J.C. Greeff, E. Safari, N.M. Fogarty, D.L. Hopkins, F.D. Brien, K.D. Atkins, S.I. Mortimer and J.H.J. Van Der Werf
Abstract: Genetic parameters for carcass and meat quality traits of about 18-month-old Merino rams (n = 5870), the progeny of 543 sires from three research resource flocks, were estimated. The estimates of heritability for hot carcass weight (HCW) and the various fat and muscle dimension measurements were moderate and ranged from 0.20 to 0.37. The brightness of meat (colour L*, 0.18 ± 0.03 standard error) and meat pH (0.22 ± 0.03) also had moderate estimates of heritability, although meat relative redness (colour a*, 0.10 ± 0.03) and relative yellowness (colour b*, 0.10 ± 0.03) were lower. Heritability estimates for live weights were moderate and ranged from 0.29 to 0.41 with significant permanent maternal environmental effects (0.13 to 0.10). The heritability estimates for the hogget wool traits were moderate to high and ranged from 0.27 to 0.60. The ultrasound measurements of fat depth (FATUS) and eye muscle depth (EMDUS) on live animals were highly genetically correlated with the corresponding carcass measurements (0.69 ± 0.09 FATC and 0.77 ± 0.07 EMD). Carcass tissue depth (FATGR) had moderate to low genetic correlations with carcass muscle measurements [0.18 ± 0.10 EMD and 0.05 ± 0.10 eye muscle area (EMA)], while those with FATC were negative. The genetic correlation between EMD and eye muscle width (EMW) was 0.41 ± 0.08, while EMA was highly correlated with EMD (0.89 ± 0.0) and EMW (0.78 ± 0.04). The genetic correlations for muscle colour with muscle measurements were moderately negative, while those with fat measurements were close to zero. Meat pH was positively correlated with muscle measurements (0.14 to 0.17) and negatively correlated with fat measurements (−0.06 to −0.18). EMDUS also showed a similar pattern of correlations to EMD with meat quality indicator traits, although FATUS had positive correlations with these traits which were generally smaller than their standard error. The genetic correlations among the meat colour traits were high and positive while those with meat pH were high and negative, which were all in the favourable direction. Generally, phenotypic correlations were similar or slightly lower than the corresponding genetic correlations. There were generally small to moderate negative genetic correlations between clean fleece weight (CFW) and carcass fat traits while those with muscle traits were close to zero. As the Merino is already a relatively lean breed, this implies that particular attention should be given to this relationship in Merino breeding programmes to prevent the reduction of fat reserves as a correlated response to selection for increased fleece weight. The ultrasound scan traits generally showed a similar pattern to the corresponding carcass fat and muscle traits. There was a small unfavourable genetic correlation between CFW and meat pH (0.19 ± 0.07).
Keywords: Fat; genetic correlations; heritability; meat colour; meat pH; muscle; wool traits
Description: Article first published online: 9 APR 2008
Rights: © 2008 DAFWA
RMID: 0020137976
DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0388.2007.00711.x
Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications

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