The session examines recent developments in the genetics of lean growth in pigs, poultry and laboratory mice. As well as feed efficiency and lean content, the selection emphasis in pigs seems likely to shift towards meat quality and efficiency of the whole production system. Increasing fatness in broilers, ducks and turkeys means that this trait will need to be added to the selection objective. Immediate research priorities are therefore to develop in vivo measures of fatness in poultry and meat quality in pigs. Longer term requirements are to understand genetic relationships between appetite and lean growth rate, and between protein synthesis and degradation rates. Due to their relatively higher maintenance requirements, laboratory mice may offer a poor model of genetic associations among commercial traits, but an adequate model for the underlying biological components. The ultimate challenge must be to develop physiological measures of lean growth which will remove the need for performance testing
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XI. Genetics of reproduction, lactation, growth, adaptation, disease, and parasite resistance., , 337–344, 1986
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