New alleles in calpastatin gene are associated with meat quality traits in pigs
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Suggestive QTL affecting raw firmness scores and average Instron force, tenderness, juiciness, and chewiness on cooked meat were mapped to pig chromosome 2 using a three-generation intercross between Berkshire and Yorkshire pigs. Based on its function and location, the calpastatin (CAST) gene was considered to be a good candidate for the observed effects. Several missense and silent mutations were identified in CASTand haplotypes covering most of the coding region were constructed and used for association analyses with meat quality traits. Results demonstrated that one CAST haplotype was significantly associated with lower Instron force and cooking loss and higher juiciness and, therefore, this haplotype is associated with higher eating quality. Some of the sequence variation identified may be associated with differences in phosphorylation of CAST by adenosine cyclic 3′, 5′-monophosphate-dependent protein kinase and may in turn explain the meat quality phenotypic differences. The beneficial haplotype was present in all the commercial breeds tested and may provide significant improvements for the pig industry and consumers because it can be used in marker-assisted selection to produce naturally tender and juicy pork without additional processing steps.
This article is from Journal of Animal Science 82 (2004): 2829–2839. Posted with permission.