Heritabilities (h2) and genetic correlations (rg) of measurements of muscularity assessed by Computed Tomography in Texel (TEX) and Scottish Blackface (SBF) lambs were obtained. Estimates of h2 for muscularity of the carcass, lumbar region (LR) and hind leg (HL) in TEX were moderate to high (≥0.38). First estimates in SBF showed that they were also highly heritable (0.59-0.78). New muscularity indices had higher h2 than previous approaches in HL but similar values for LR. The rg between indices and regions were in general positive and high, but there were differences between breeds. Although estimates should be used carefully due to high standard errors (0.20), they show that there is scope for genetic improvement of muscularity in both breeds. However, differences in rg imply that different indices may optimise genetic response in each breed.

Elly Ana Navajas, N. R Lambe, R. Sawalha, L. Bunger, G. Simm

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume , , 13.13, 2006
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