South African Journal of Animal Science

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Mapping QTL for fatty acid composition that segregates between the Japanese Black and Limousin cattle breeds (Short communication)

NOM Tshipuliso, LJ Alexander, TW Geary, VM Snelling, DC Rule, JE Koltes, BE Mote, MD MacNeil


The objective of this study was to search for quantitative trait loci (QTL) that segregate between Japanese Black and Limousin cattle breeds and affect relative amounts of saturated (SFA), mono-unsaturated (MUFA) and poly-unsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids. Six F1 Japanese Black-Limousin cross bulls were joined with 121 F1 females over a three-year period to produce 328 F2 progeny. Calves, aged from 450 to 641 d (average 561 d), were harvested using standard industry procedures. After aging, 2.54 cm thick steaks were cut from the posterior end of the wholesale rib, frozen at –20 °C, and held for determination of fatty acid composition. Percentages of the individual fatty acids were classified into percentages of SFA, MUFA and PUFA. Two hundred seventeen microsatellite markers covering the 29 bovine autosomes were assayed and QTL were identified by least squares regression. Genome-wise significant QTL with additive effects on SFA (-0.61 ± 0.19%), MUFA (0.93 ± 0.19%) and PUFA (-0.52 ± 0.11%) were observed near the centromere of BTA2. Also observed were five QTL indicative of dominance effects on: MUFA (BTA9, 119 cM, -1.87 ± 0.72%; BTA22, 47 cM, 1.85 ± 0.60%) and PUFA (BTA9, 54 cM, -1.49 ± 0.42%; BTA10, 38 cM, 1.20 ± 0.35%; and BTA15, 14 cM, 1.11 ± 0.36%). Based on these results, we conclude that it may be possible to improve the healthfulness of beef by manipulating fatty acid composition using genetic markers and appropriate crossbreeding systems.

Keywords: Beef, fatty acids, Japanese Black, Limousin, quantitative trait loci, Wagyu

South African Journal of Animal Science Vol. 38 (2) 2008: pp. 126-130

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