The effect of the Texel muscling QTL (TM-QTL) on meat quality traits in crossbred lambs
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A quantitative trait locus (QTL) has been identified on chromosome 18 in Texel sheep (TM-QTL) that increases depth and area of the longissimus dorsi muscle. The study aimed to assess the pleiotropic QTL effects on key meat quality traits (toughness and intramuscular fat content afterP7 days aging) of crossbred lambs carrying one copy of the TM-QTL. The results showed that male Texel Mule lambs carrying the TM-QTL had significantly less intramuscular fat (1.86% versus 2.25%) and higher toughness, with increased variation, in the loin muscle, compared to non-carrier males. Similar conclusions were obtained using two different types of tenderometer equipment: one using the Volodkevitch test (average shear force of 4.17 kgF or 40.9 N for carrier males, 2.61 kgF or 25.6 N for non-carrier males) and one using the MIRINZ test (average shear force of 6.18 kgF or 60.6 N for carrier males, 5.22 kgF or 51.2 N for noncarrier males). Although most toughness measurements were within published consumer acceptability limits, a few individual TM-QTL carrier lambs had unacceptably tough meat, despite enhanced postslaughter processing. The TM-QTL did not significantly affect loin toughness in female lambs, leg toughness in either sex, or intramuscular fat content. These results should be considered, alongside direct effects of the TM-QTL on muscling and carcass composition, in recommendations for the use of this QTL by sheep breeders. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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