Main content area

Effects of genetic markers and implant strategy on longissimus and gluteus muscle tenderness of calf-fed steers and heifers

Gruber, S.L., Tatum, J.D., Engle, T.E., Chapman, P.L., Enns, R.M., Belk, K.E., Smith, G.C.
Journal of animal science 2011 v.89 no.5 pp. 1401-1411
alleles, beef, beef carcasses, calpastatin, calves, carcass quality, genetic markers, genotype, heifers, inosine monophosphate, meat aging, muscles, shear stress, steaks, steers, tenderizing
Effects of genotype (GEN) and implant program (IMP) on LM and gluteus muscle (GM) tenderization were investigated using crossbred steer (n = 185) and heifer (n = 158) calves. The 3-marker GeneSTAR Tenderness panel [CAST (calpastatin), CAPN1 316 (μ-calpain), and CAPN1 4751 (μ-calpain)] was used to determine the GEN of each animal (reported as total number of favorable alleles, 0 through 6). Calves were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 IMP, conventional (CNV) or delayed. Cattle in the CNV group were implanted at the beginning of the finishing period with Revalor-IS or Revalor-IH (Intervet Inc., Millsboro, DE), and then reimplanted 59 d later with Revalor-S or Revalor-H (Intervet Inc.). Calves in the delayed group received a single terminal implant (Revalor-S or Revalor-H) administered 45 d after initiation of the finishing period. Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) was measured on LM and GM steaks at 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 d postmortem. No interactions between the main effects of sex, IMP, or GEN were detected (P > 0.05) for WBSF. An IMP x postmortem aging (age) interaction was detected (P < 0.05) for LM and GM WBSF. For both muscles, steaks from CNV cattle had WBSF values that were approximately 0.2 kg greater (P < 0.05) than the values for steaks from delayed animals, but only during the early postmortem period (3 to 7 d). A linear effect of GEN on WBSF was detected (P < 0.05) for LM and GM steaks. Within each muscle, steaks from cattle with 6 favorable alleles had WBSF values 0.33 kg less than the values for steaks from cattle with 1 favorable allele. The GEN x age interaction was not significant for LM (P = 0.14) or GM (P = 0.20), but a numerical trend was observed for the effect of GEN on WBSF to diminish as age increased. To investigate how genetic markers could be interfaced with current beef carcass quality grading, cattle were sorted into 2 gene marker groups (GMG), [less-than or equal to]3 vs. ≥4 favorable alleles. For both muscles, GMG was effective only at identifying tenderness differences within the Select grade. When aged [less-than or equal to]14 d, Select LM steaks from cattle with ≥4 alleles had smaller (P < 0.05) WBSF values than did LM steaks from animals with [less-than or equal to]3 alleles. Preslaughter factors (sex, IMP, and GMG) controlled in the present study each accounted for less than 7% of the explained variation in tenderness of the test population. Results from this study suggest that the 3 GeneSTAR Tenderness markers were associated with small differences (0.33 kg) in WBSF and may be useful for increasing the consistency of Select beef, but these specific markers accounted for only a minor amount of variation in beef tenderness.