Gene Associations with Country Ham Quality, Quantity and
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The demand for country hams or dry-cured hams has been on the rise in recent years in the U.S., which provides a new market for pork producers. In this study, three genes involved in the regulation of fatty acid synthesis and antioxidative enzyme transcription were investigated for associations with country ham quality, quantity, and color traits. These processes are import for meat quality. Differences in the animals’ genetic sequence, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were detected in each gene and association analyzes were performed. Several significant associations were found and include, but are not limited to, cured weight, ham yield, moisture and salt percentage. The findings in this study provide evidence that pigs carrying favorable variants of these genes could be selected for use in improvements in country ham production.