Evaluating the effects of a single copy of a mutation in the myostatin gene (c.*1232 G>A) on carcass traits in crossbred lambs
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This study evaluated the effects of the ovine c.*1232 G > A myostatin mutation (MM) on carcass traits in heterozygous crossbred lambs sired by Texel and Poll Dorset rams using ultrasound, CT scanning, carcass classification and VIA. In experiment 1, MM was associated with increased loin depth (+ 2.8%) and area (+ 3.2%). MM-carriers had significantly higher CT-estimated lean weight and proportion (2 to 4%) and muscle to bone ratio (by ~ 3%), in both experiments, and muscle to fat ratio (28%) in experiment 2. Muscle areas in three cross-sectional CT scans, were higher (2 to 5%) in MM-carriers. In experiment 2, fat-related measurements were significantly lower in MM-carrier lambs but this was not seen in experiment 1. A significant increase in muscle density, indicative of lower intramuscular fat, in MM-carriers shows that meat quality characteristics need attention. Carrying MM significantly decreased carcass fat scores. VIA did not detect any significant MM effects.
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