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Relationship between DNA Analysis and Phenotypic Observations on Beef Quality

23 August 2013

Selecting cattle for marbling and feeding them a diet that meets or exceeds the degree of nutrients for growth influence tenderness and acceptability.

A study from researchers at North Dakota State University looked a shear force values on a variety of breeds of cattle to compare tenderness and eating quality with tests taken using DNA techniques.

The research is published in the journal Meat Science.

Warner–Bratzler shear force values from 560 mixed breed heifers and steers were used to determine estimates of genetic selection.

Cattle were marketed from 2008 to 2011, and included five feedlot based research projects at the North Dakota State University-Carrington Research Extension Center.

Samples were collected for IGENITY® analysis providing information that included selection indices and estimated breeding values for carcase traits.

DNA-based test results were compared with actual carcase measurements. Marbling accounted for over 10 per cent of the variation in WBSF while hot carcase weight was the second most influential carcass trait accounting for four per cent (P < 0.01).

Regression coefficients of IGENITY® molecular breeding value on phenotype for WBSF, marbling, ribeye area, yield grade, and fat thickness were low (R2 = 0.14, 0.02, 0.03, 0.03, and 0.02, respectively).

The team of J.D. Magolski, D.S. Buchanan, K.R. Maddock-Carlin, V.L. Anderson, D.J. Newman, E.P. Berg said that therefore selecting cattle for a higher degree of marbling and feeding a diet that meets or exceeds recommended nutrients for growth are the most important factors influencing beef tenderness and acceptability.

July 2013

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