In a selection experiment, 317 Charolais young bulls, progeny of 58 sires divergently selected (2x29) on their own growth capacity and feed efficiency measured in performance testing stations, have been tested in an experimental herd. Carcass weight and composition have been measured as well as nine different biological characteristics of the Longissimus dor si muscle related to meat quality.
The responses observed on the progeny show that the selection procedure applied in the performance testing stations is appropriate for improving the muscle growth capacity and does not change markedly the biological components of meat quality. These responses and the estimated genetic correlations show a tendency that higher muscle growth capacity is related to later physiological development Selecting leanner animals will certainly have favourable effects on tenderness (higher thermal solubility of the collagene and higher proportion of rapid-white type of fibers) and a reduction of intramuscular lipid content. As heritability coefficients of most of these muscle characteristics are high enough, they can eventually be used as selection criteria in breeding programmes to improve related meat qualities as long as they can be easily measured.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 19. Selection and quantitative genetics; growth; reproduction; lactation; fish; fiber; meat., , 446–449, 1994
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