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Growth Performance and Meat Quality Evaluations in Three-Way Cross Cattle Developed for the Tibetan Plateau and their Molecular Understanding by Integrative Omics Analysis

Cao, Xiu-Kai, Cheng, Jie, Huang, Yong-Zhen, Wang, Xiao-Gang, Ma, Yu-Lin, Peng, Shu-Jun, Chaogetu, Buren, Zhuoma, Zhaxi, Chen, Hong
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2018 v.67 no.1 pp. 541-550
Angus, altitude, biochemical pathways, biosynthesis, body weight, calcium signaling, cattle, chest, color, dressing percentage, genes, growth performance, insulin, meat, meat protein, meat quality, polyunsaturated fatty acids, quantitative trait loci, sires, stress response, transcriptome, withers, yaks, China
Despite of favorable characteristics of high protein, low fat, and free-pollution, yak meat has intrinsically poor performance in tenderness and color, which is ever challenging yak sector. To this end, a three-way cross system was first developed for high quality beef of the Tibetan Plateau using Angus cattle (Bos taurus) as terminal sire to mate with 1/2 yak (F1) generated from♂Qaidam cattle (Bos taurus) × ♀yak (Bos grunniens). The withers height, chest girth, and body weight of 1/4 yak (F2) were all great higher than that of yak and 1/2 yak (P < 0.01), especially at later period, suggesting the faster growth rate of 1/4 yak. Also the dressing percentage was much better in 1/4 yak (P < 0.01). Tenderness and meat color were both significantly improved in 1/4 yak with some unpleasant sacrifice of PUFAs, such as EPA and DHA, and meat protein, given the significantly lower shear force and higher L* (P < 0.01). A total of 769 genes, including SREBF1, GHR, and FASN, the widely recognized causal genes of meat quality, were identified from 11947 differently expressed genes by the data integration of transcriptome, GWAS and QTL. These genes were significantly enriched for important pathway and GO terms, such as insulin signaling pathway, fatty acid biosynthesis, calcium signaling pathway, metabolic pathway, and cellular response to stress (P < 0.01). And 12 promising candidates were exemplified with annotation of H3K4me3 data from divergent meat quality, such as OSTF1, NRAS1, and KCNJ11. Interestingly, 75 high-altitude adaptive candidate genes were also detected in the list. This study is a first step toward high quality beef of the Tibetan Plateau and provides useful information for their molecular understanding.